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ert by Google 



D,s,i,7ert by Google 

ert by Google 



Ttm Swf/t ana Hit Moltr C/vii. 







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Books by Vhjtor Appleton 
the tom stift series 


Or Fun and AdTcntur* on the Road 

Or the Kil^s of Lake Culopi 

Or the Stining Cniise of the Red Cloud 

Or Under the Ocean for Sunken Treasure 

Or Ihe Speediest Car on the Road 

(Other V 

B la preparation} 

ict, ftr voiumt, SO anil. 

Ttm Swifl and Hit Mtler^fcU 




I A Narrow Escape i 

11 Tom Overheaks Souethihc 13 

III Ih a Smash-up 3i 

IV Tom and a Motor-Cvcle 28 

V Mr. Swurr Is Alarmed 37 

VI Air Intesview IN THE Dark 43 

VII Opf om a Spin 51 

VIII Suspiaous Actions 60 

IX A Fruitless Pursuit 70 

X Off to Albany 76 

XI A Vindictive Tramp 86 

XII The Men in the Auto 96 

XIII Caught in a Storm 105 

XIV Attacked from Behind iii 

XV A Vain Search 118 

XVI Back Home 137 

XVII Mr. Swift in Despair 134 

XVIII Happy Harry Again 14a 

XIX Tom on a Hunt 150 

XX Eradicate Saws Wood 159 


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XXI BbAMCATE Gives a Clue 163 

XXII Tbe SisANGE Mansion 173 

XXIII Tom Is Pursued 180 

XXIV UNKtracTED Help 188 

XXV The Capiuee— Goc»-by. 196 

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"That's the way to do it! Whoop her up, 
Andy! Shove the spark lever over, and turn on 
more gasolene ! We'll make a record this trip." 

Two lads in the tonneau of a touring car, that 
was whirling along a country road, leaned for- 
ward to speak to the one at the steering wheel. 
The latter was a red-haired youth, with some- 
what squinty eyes, and not a very pleasant face, 
but his companions seemed to regard him with 
much favor. Perhaps it was because they were 
riding in his automobile. 

"Whoop her up, Andy!" added the lad on the 
seat beside the driver. "This is immense!" 

"I rather thought you'd like it," remarked 
Andy Foger, as he turned the car to avoid a stone 

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in the road. "I'll make things hum around Shop- 
ton l" 

"You have made them hum already, Andy," 
commented the lad beside him. "My ears are 
ringing. Wow ! There goes my cap !" 

As the boy spoke, the breeze, created by the 
speed at which the car was traveling, lifted off 
his cap, and sent it whirling to the rear. 

Andy Foger turned for an instant's glance 
behind. Then he opened the throttle still wider, 
and exclaimed ; 

"Let it go, Sam. We can get another. I want 
to see what time I can make to Mansburg! I 
want to break a record, if I can." 

"]Jx)k out, or you'll break something else!" 
cried a lad on the rear seat. "There's a fellow 
on a bicycle just ahead of us. Take care, Andy!" 

"Let him look out for himself," retorted Foger, 
as he bent lower over the steering wheel, for the 
car was now going at a terrific rate. The youth 
on the bicycle was riding slowly along, and did 
not see the approaching automobile until it was 
nearly upon him. Then, with a mean grin, Andy 
Foger pressed the rubber bulb of the horn with 
sudden energy, sending out a series of alarm- 
ing blasts. 

"It's Tom Swift!" cried Sam Snedecker. 
"Lode out, or you'll run him down!" 

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"Let him keep out of my way," retorted Andy 

The youth on the wheel, with a sudden spurt 
of speed, tried to cross the highway. He did 
manage to do it, but by such a narrow margin 
that in very terror Andy Foger shut off the power, 
jammed down the brakes and steered to one side. 
So suddenly was he obliged to swerve over that 
the ponderous machine skidded and went into the 
ditch at the side of the road, where it brought 
up, tilting to one side. 

Tom Swift, his face rather pale from his nar- 
row escape, leaped from his bicycle, and stood 
regarding the aut(Mnobile. As for the occupants 
of that machine, from Andy Foger, the owner, 
to the three cronies who were riding with him, 
they all looked very much astonished. 

"Are we — is it damaged any, Andy?" asked 
Sam Snedecker. 

"I hope not," growled Andy. "If my car's 
hurt it's Tom Swift's fault!" 

He leaped from his seat and made a hurried 
inspection of the machine. He found nothing th< 
matter, though it was more from good luck than 
good management. Then Andy turned and 
looked savagely at Tom Swift. The latter, stand- 
ing his wheel up against the fence, walked for- 

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"What do you mean by getting in the way like 
that?" demanded Andy with a scowl. "Don't 
you see that you nearly upset me?" 

"Well, I like your nerve, Andy Foger !" cried 
Tom. "What do you mean by nearly running me 
down? Why didn't you sound your horn? You 
automobilists take too much for granted! You 
were going faster than the legal rate, anyhow!" 

"I was, eh ?" sneered Andy. 

"Yes, you were, and you know it. I'm the 
one to make a kick, not you. You came pretty 
near hitting me. Me getting in your way! I 
guess I've got some rights on the road !" 

"Aw, go on!" growled Andy, for he could 
think of nothing else to say. "Bicycles are a 
back number, anyhow." 

"It isn't so very long ago that you had one," 
retorted Tom. "First you fellows know, you'll 
be pulled in for speeding." 

"I guess we had better go slower, Andy," ad- 
vised Sam in a low voice. "I don't want to be 

"Leave this to me," retorted Andy. "I'm run- 
ning this tour. The next time you get in my way 
I'll run you down !" he threatened Tom. "Come 
on, felbws, we're late now, and can't make a 
record run, all on account of him," and Andy got 

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back into the car, followed by his cronies, who 
had hurriedly alighted after their thrilling stop. 

"If you try anything like this again you'll wish 
you hadn't," declared Tom, and he watched the 
automobile party ride off. 

"Oh, forget itl" snapped back Andy, and he 
)aughed, his companions joining. 

Tom Swift said nothing in reply. Slowly he 
remounted his wheel and rode off, but his thoughts 
toward Andy Foger were not very pleasant ones. 
Andy was the son of a wealthy man of the town, 
and his good fortune in the matter of money 
seemed to have spoiled him, for he was a bully 
and a coward. Several times he and Tom Swift 
had clashed, for Andy was overbearing. But 
this was the first time Andy had shown such a 
vindictive spirit. 

"He thinks he can run over everything since 
he got his new auto," commented Tom aloud as 
he rode on. "He'll have a smash-up some day, 
if he isn't careful. He's too fond of speeding. 
I wonder where he and his crowd are going?" 

Musing over his narrow escape Tom rode on, 
and was soon at his home, where he lived with 
his widowed father. Barton Swift, a wealthy in- 
ventor, and the tatter's housekeeper, Mrs. Bag- 
gert. Approaching a machine shop, one of several 
built near his house by Mr. Swift, in which he con- 

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ducted experiments and constructed apparatus, 
Tom was met by his parent. 

"What's the matter, Tom ?" asked Mr. Swift. 
"You look as if something had happened." 

"Something very nearly did," answered the 
youth, and related his experience on the road. 

"Humph," remarked the inventor ; "your little 
pleasure-jaunt might have ended disastrously. I 
suppose Andy and his chums are off on their trip. 
I remember Mr. Foger speaking to me about it 
the other day. He said Andy and some compan- 
ions were going on a tour, to be gone a week or 
more. Well, I'm glad it was no worse. But have 
you anything special to do, Tom ?" 

"No; I was just riding for pleasure, and if 
you want me to do anything, I'm ready." 

"Then I wish you'd take this letter to Mans- 
burg for me. I want it registered, and I don't 
wish to mail it in the Shopton post-office. It's 
too important, for it's about a valuable invention." 

"The new turbine motor, dad?" 

"That's it. And on your way I wish you'd 
stop in Merton's machine shop and get some bolts 
he's making for me." \ 

"I will. Is that the letter?" and Tom extended 
his hand for a missive his father held. 

"Yes. Please be careful of it. It's to my law- 
yers in Washington regarding the final steps in 

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getting a patent for the turbine. That's why I'm 
so particular about not wanting it mailed here. 
Several times before I have posted letters here, 
only to have the information contained in them 
leak out before my attorneys received them. I 
do not want that to happen in this case. Another 
thing; don't speak about my new invention in 
Merton's shop when you stop for the bolts." 

"Why, do you think he gave out information 
concerning your work?" 

"Well, not exactly. He might not mean to, 
but he told me the other day that some strangers 
were making inquiries of him, about whether he 
ever did any work for me." 

"What did he tell them?" 

"He said that he occasionally did, but that most 
of my inventive work was done in my own shops, 
here. He wanted to know why the men were ask- 
ing such questions, and one of them said they ex- 
pected to open a machine shc^ soon, and wanted 
to ascertain if they might figure on getting any of 
my trade. But I don't believe that was their ob- 

"What do you think it was?" 

"I don't know, exactly, but I was somewhat 
alarmed when I heard this from Merton, So I 
am going to take no risks. That's why I send 
this letter to Mansburg. Don't lose it, and don'l 

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iorget about the bolts. Here is a blue-print of 
them, so you can see if they come up to the speci- 

Tom rode off on his wheel, and was soon spin-* 
ning down the road. ' 

"I wonder if I'll meet Andy Foger and his 
cronies again?" he thought "Not very likely 
to, I guess, if they're off on a tour. Well, I'm 
just as well satisfied. He and I always seem to 
get into trouble when we meet." Tom was not 
destined to meet Andy again that day, but the 
time was to come when the red-haired bully was 
to cause Tom Swift oo little trouble, and get him 
into danger besides. So Tom rode along, think- 
ing over what his father had said to him about 
the letter he carried. 

Mr. Barton Swift was a natural Inventor. From 
a boy he had been interested in things mechanical, 
and one of his first efforts had been to arrange a 
S3'stem of pulleys, belts and gears so that the 
windmill would operate the chum in the old farm- 
house where he was born. The fact that the mill 
went so fast that it broke the chum all to pieces 
did not discourage him, and he at once set to work 
changing the gears. His father had to buy a 
new churn, but the young inventor made his plan 
work on the second trial, and thereafter his 
mother found butter-making easy. 

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From then on Barton Swift lived in a world of 
inventions. People used to say he would never 
amount to anj^hing, that inventors never did, but 
■Mr. Swift proved them all wrong t^ amassing a 
'considerable fortune out of his many patents. He 
grew up, married and had one son, Tom. Mrs. 
Barton died when Tom was three years old, and 
since then he had lived with his father and a suc- 
cession of nurses and housekeepers. The last 
woman to have charge of the household was a 
Mrs, Baggert, a motherly widow, and she suc- 
ceeded so well, and Tom and his father formed 
such an attachment for her, that she was regarded 
as a fixture, and had now been in charge ten 

Mr. Swift and his son lived in a handsome 
house on the outskirts of the village of Shc^too, 
in New York State. The village was near a large 
body of water, which I shall call Lake Carlopa, 
and there Tom and his father used to spend many 
pleasant days boating, for Tom and the inventor 
were better chums than many bo3rs are, and they 
(were often seen together in a craft rowing about, 
■jr fishing. Of course Tom had some boy friends, 
ibut he went with his father more often than he 
did witH them. 

Though many of Mr. Swift's inventions paid 
him well, he was constantly seeking to perfect 

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others. To this end he had built near his home 
several machine shops, with engines, lathes and 
apparatus for various kinds of work. Tom, too, 
had the inventive fever in his veins, and had 
planned some useful implements and small ma 

Along the pleasant country roads on a fine day 
in April rode Tom Swift on his way to Mansburg 
to register the letter. As he descended a little 
hill he saw, some distance away, but coming to- 
ward him, a great cloud of dust 

"Somebody must be driving a herd of cattle 
along the road," thought Tom. "I hope they 
don't get in my way, or, rather, I hope I don't 
get in theirs. Guess I'd better keep to one side, 
yet there isn't any too much room." 

The dust-cloud came nearer. It was so dense 
tiiat whoever or whatever was making it could 
not be distinguished. 

"Must be a lot of cattle in that bunch," mused 
the young inventor, "but I shouldn't think they'd 
trot them so on a warm day like this. Maybe 
they're stampeded. If they are I've got to lod( 
out" This idea caused him some alarm. 

He tried to peer through the dust-cloud, but 
could not. Nearer and nearer it came. Tom kept 
CHI, taking care to get as far to the side of the 
road as he could. Then from the midst of the 



enveloping mass came the sound of a steady 

"It's a motor-cycle!" exclaimed Tom. "He 
must have his muffler wide open, and that's kick- 
ing up as much dust as the wheels do. Whew ! 
But whoever's on it will look like a clay image at 
the end of the line !" 

Now that he knew it was a fellow-cyclist who 
was raising such a disturbance, Tom turned more 
toward the middle of the road. As yet he had 
not had a sight of the rider, but the explosions 
of the motor were louder. Suddenly, when the 
first advancing particles of dust reached him, al- 
most making him sneeze, Tom caught sight of 
the rider. He was a man of middle age, and he 
was clinging to the handle-bars of the machine. 
The motor was going at full speed. 

Tom quickly turned to one side, to avoid the 
worst of the dust. The motor-cyclist glanced at 
the youth, but this act nearly proved disastrous 
for him. He took his eyes from the road ahead 
for just a moment, and he did not see a large 
stone directly in his path. His front wheel hit 
ic, and the heavy machine, which he could not 
control very well, skidded over toward the lad 
on the bicycle. The motor-c3xlist bounced up in 
the air from the saddle, and nearly lost his hold 
on the handle-bars. 

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"Look out!" cried T<Mn. "You'll smash into 

"I'm — I'm — try — ing — not — to I" were the 
words that were rattled out of the middle-aged 

Tom gave his wheel a desperate twist to get 
out of the way. The motor-cyclist tried to do the 
same, but the machine he was on appeared to 
want matters its own way. He came straight for 
Tom, and a disastrous collision might have re- 
sulted had not another stone heen in the way. The 
front wheel hit this, and was swerved to one side. 
The motor-cycle flashed past Tom, just grazing 
his wheel, and then was lost to sight beyond in a 
cloud of dust that seemed to follow tt like a halo. 

"Why don't you leam to ride before you come 
out on the road!" cried Tom somewhat angrily. 

Like an echo from the dust-cloud came floating 
back these words : 

"I'm — try — ing — ^to!" Then the sound of the 
explosions became fainter. 

"Well, he's got lots to leam yet!" exclaimed 
Tom. "That's twice to-day I've nearly been run 
down. I expect I'd better look out for the third 
time. Th^ say that's always fatal," and the lad 
leaped from his wheel "Wonder if he bent any 
of my spdces?" the young inventor continued as 
he inspected his bicycle. 



"Everything seems to be all right," Tom re- 
marked, "but another inch or so and he'd have 
crashed into me, I wonder who he was? I wish 
I had a machine like that. I could make better 
time than I can on my bicycle. Perhaps I'll get 
one some day. Well, I might as well ride on." 

Tom was soon at Mansburg, and going to the 
post-office handed in the letter for registry. Bear- 
ing in mind his father's words, he looked about 
to see if there were any suspicious characters, but 
the only person he noticed was a well-dressed 
man, with a black mustache, who seemed to be 
intently studying the schedule of the arrival and 
departure of the mails. 

"Do you want the receipt for the registered 
letter sent to you here or at Shopton?" asked the 
clerk of Tom. "Come to think of it, though, it 
will have to come here, and you can call for it 
JM have it returned to Mr. Barton Swift, care of 

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general delivery, and you can get it the next time 
you are over," for the clerk knew Tom. 

"That will do," answered our hero, and as he 
turned away from the window he saw that the 
>nan who had been inquiring about the mails was 
regarding him curiously. Tom thought nothing 
of it at the time, but there came an occasion when 
he wished that he had taken more careful note 
of the well-dressed individual. As the youth 
passed out of the outer door he saw the man walk 
over to the registry window. 

"He seems to have considerable mail business," 
thought Tom, and then the matter passed from 
his mind as he mounted his wheel and hurried 
to the machine shop. 

"Say, I'm awfully sony," announced Mr. Mer- 
ton when Tom said he had come for the bolts, 
*'but they're not quite done. They need polish- 
ing. I know I promised them to your father to- 
day, and he can have them, but he was very par- 
ticular about the polish, and as one of my best 
workers was taken sick, I'm a little behind." 

"How long will it take to polish them?" asked 

"Oh, about an hour. In fact, a man is working 
on them now. If you could call this afternoon 
they'll be ready. Can you?" 

"I s'pose I've got to," replied Tom good- 

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naturedly. "Guess I'll have to stay in Mansburg 
for dinner. I can't get hack to Shopton in time 

"I'll be sure to have them for you after dinner," 
promised Mr. Merton. "Now, there's a mattei 
I want to speak to y<Mi about, Tom. Has your 
father any idea of giving the work he has been 
turning over to me to Bome other firm?" 

"Not that I know of. Why?" and the lad 
showed his wcmder. 

"Well, I'll tdl you why. Some time ago there 
was a stranger in here, asking about your father's 
work. I told Mr. Swift of it at the time. The 
stranger said then that he and some others were 
thinking of opening a machine shop, and he 
wanted to find out whether they would be likely 
to get any jobs from your father. I told the 
man I knew nothing about Mr. Swift's business, 
and he went away. I didn't bear any mMe of it, 
though of course I didn't want to lose yotir fa- 
ther's trade. Now a funny thing happened. Only 
this morning the same man was bade here, and 
he was making particular inquiries about your 
father's private machine shops." 

"He was ?" exclaimed Tom excitedly. 

"Yes. He wanted to know where they were 
located, how they were laid out, and what 9ort 
of work he did in them." 

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"What did you tell him?" 

"Nothing at all, I suspected something, and 
I said the best way for him to find out would be 
to go and see your father. Wasn't that right?" 

"Sure. Dad doesn't want his business known 
any more than he can help. What do you suppose 
they wanted ?" 

"Well, the man talked as though he and his 
partners would like to buy your father's shops." 

"I don't believe he'd sell. He has them ar- 
ranged just for his own use in making patents, 
and I'm sure he would not dispose of them." 

"Well, that's what I thought, but I didn't tell 
the man so. I judged it would be best for him 
to find out for himself." 

"What was the man's name?" 

"He didn't tell me, and I didn't ask him." 

"How did he look ?" 

"Well, he was well dressed, wore kid gloves 
and all that, and he had a little black mustache." 

Tom started, and Mr. Merton noticed it. 

"Do you know him ?' he asked. 

"No," replied Tom, "but I saw " Then 

he stopped. He recalled the man he had seen in 
the post-office. He answered this description, but 
it was too vague to be certaia 

"Did you say you'd seen him?" asked Mr. 
Merton, regarding Tom curiously. 

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"No — yes — that is — well, I'll tell my father 
about it," stammered Tom, who ccmcluded that 
it would be best to say nothing of his suspicions. 
"I'll be back right after dinner, Mr. Merton. 
Please have the bolts ready for me, if you can.'' 

"I will. Is your father going to use them in a 
new machine?" 

"Yes; dad is always making new machines," 
answered the youth, as the most polite way of 
not giving the proprietor of the shop any infor- 
mation. "I'll be back right after dinner," he 
called as he went out to get on his wheel, 

Tom was much puzzled. He felt certain that 
the man in the post-office and the one who had 
questioned Mr. Merton were the same. 

"There is something going on, that dad should 
know about," reflected Tom. "I must tell him. 
I don't believe it will be wise to send any more 
of his patent work over to Merton. We must 
do it in the shops at home, and dad and I will 
have to keep our eyes open. There may be spies 
about seeking to discover something about his 
new turbine motor. I'll hurry back with those 
bolts and tell dad. But first I must get lunch. 
I'll go to the restaurant and have a good feed 
while I'm at it." 

Tom had plenty of spending money, some of 
which came from a small patent he had marketed 

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himself. He left his wheel outside the restaurant, 
first taking the precaution to chain the wheels, 
and then went inside. Tom was hungry and or- 
dered a good meal. He was about half way 
through it when some one called his name. 

"Hello, Ned !" he answered, looking up to see 
a youth about his own age. "Where did you 
Uow in from ?" 

"Oh, I came over from Shopton this morning," 
replied Ned Newton, taking a seat at the table 
with Tom. The two lads were chums, and in 
their youi^er days had often gone fishing, swim- 
ming and hunting together. Now Ned worked in 
the Shopton bank, and Tcsn was so busy helping 
his father, so they did not see each other so often. 

"On business or pleasure?" asked Tom, putting 
some more sugar in his coffee. 

"Business. I bad to bring some papers over 
from our bank to the First National here. But 
what about you ?" 

"Oh, I came on dad's account." 

"Invented anything new?" asked Ned as he 
gave his order to the waitress. 

"No, nothing since the egg-beater I was tell- 
ing you about. But I'm working on scmie things." 

"Why don't you invent an automobile or an 

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"Maybe I will some day, but, speaking of autos, 
did you see the one Andy Foger has ?" 

"Yes; it's a beaut t Have you seen it?" 

"Altogether at too close range. He nearly 
ran over me this morning," and the young in^ 
ventor related the occurrence. 

"Oh, Andy always was too fresh," commented 
Ned ; "and since his father let him get the tour- 
ing car I suppose he'll be worse than ever." 

"Well, if he tries to run me down again he'll- 
get into trouble," declared Tom, calling for a 
second cup of coffee. 

The two chums began conversing on more con- 
genial topics, and Ned was telling of a new 
camera he had, when, from a taMe directly be- 
hind him, Tom heard some one say in rather loud 
tones : 

"The plant is located in Shopton, all right, 
and the buildings are near Swift's house." 

Tom started, and listened more intently. 

"That will make it more difficult," one man an- 
swered. "But if the invention is as valuable 

"Hush!" came a caution from another of the. 
party. "This is too public a place to discuss the 
matter. Wait until we get out. One of us will 
have to see Swift, of course, and if he proves 
stubborn " 

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"I guess you'd better hush yourself," retorted 
the man who had first spoken, and then the voices 

But Tom Swift had overheard something whidi 
made him vaguely afraid. He started so at the 
sound of his father's name that he knocked a fork 
from the tabhe. 

"What's the matter; getting nervous?" asked 
Ned with a laugh, 

"I guess so," replied Tom, and when he stooped 
to pick the fork up, not waiting for the girl who 
was serving at his table, he stole a locJc at the 
strangers who had just entered. He was startled 
to note that one of the men was the same he had 
seen in the post-office — the man who answered the 
description of the one who had been inquiring 
of Mr. Merton about the Swift shops. 

"I'm going to keep my ears, open," thought 
Tom as he went on eating his dinner. 

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Though the young inventor listened imetitly, 
in an endeavor to hear the conversation of the men 
at the table behind him, all he could catch was 
an indistinct murmur. The strangers appeared 
to have heeded the caution of one of their num- 
ber and were speaking in low tones, 

Tom and Ned finished their meal, and started 
to leave the restaurant. As Mr. Swift's son 
passed the table where the men sat they looked 
up quickly at him. Two of them gave Tom but 
a passing glance, but one — he whom the young 
inventor had noticed in the post-office — stared 
long and intently. 

"I think he will know me the next time he sees 
me," thought Twn, and he boldly returned the 
glance of the stranger. 

The bolts were ready when the inventor's son 
called at the machine shop a second time, and 
making a package of them Tom fastened it to 

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the saddle of his bicycle. He started for home 
at a fast pace, and was just turning from a cross 
road into the main highway when he saw ahead 
of him a woman driving a light wagon. As the 
sun flashed on Tom's shining wheel the horse gave 
a sudden leap, swerved to one side, and then 
bolted down the dusty stretch, the woman scream- 
ing at the top of her voice. 

"A runaway!" cried Tom; "and partly my 
fault, too !" 

Waiting not an instant the lad bent over his 
handle-bars and pedaled with all his force. His 
bicycle seemed fairly to leap forward after the 
galloping horse. 

"Sit still ! Don't Jump out ! Don't jump !" 
yelled the young inventor. "I'll try to catch him I" 
for the woman was standing up in front of the 
seat and leaning forward, as if about to leap from 
the wagon, 

"She's lost her head," thought Tom. "No won- 
der ! That's a skittish horse." 

Faster and faster he rode, bending all his ener- 
gies to overtake the animal. The wagon was 
swaying from side to side, and more than once 
the woman just saved herself from being thrown 
out by grasping the edge of the seat. She found 
that her standing position was a dangerous one 

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and crouched on the bottom of the swaying 

"That's better!'* shouted Tom, but it is doubt- 
ful if she heard him, for the rattling of the wagon 
and the hoofbeats of the horse drowned all other 
sounds. "Sit still!" he shouted. "I'll stop the 
horse for you !" 

Trying to imagine himself in a desperate race, 
in order to excite himself to greater speed, Tom 
continued on. He was now even with the tail- 
board of the wagon, and slowly creeping up. 
The woman was all huddled up in a lump. 

"Grab the reins! Grab the reins!" shouted 
Tom. "Saw on the bit 1 That will stop him !" 

The occupant of the wagon turned to look at 
tbe lad. Tom saw tliat she was a handsome jroung 
lady. "Grab the reins 1" he cried again. "Pull 
hard !" 

"I — I can't !" she answered frightenedly. "They 
have dropped down! Oh, do please stop the 
horse ! I'm so — so frightened !" 

"I'll stop him !" declared the youth firmly, and 
he set his teeth hard. Then he saw the reason 
the fair driver could not grasp the lines. They 
had slipped over the dashboard and were trailing 
on the ground. 

The horse was slaclting speed a bit now, for 
the pace was telling on his wind. Tom saw his 

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Opportunity, and with a sudden burst of energy 
was at the animal's head. Steering his wheel 
with one hand, with the other the lad made a 
grab for the reins near the bit The horse swerved 
frightenedly to one side, but Tom swung in tht 
same direction. He grasped the leather and then, 
with a kick, he freed himself from the bicycle, 
giving it a shove to one side. He was now cling- 
ing to the reins with both hands, and, being a 
muscular lad and no lightweight, his bulk told. 

"Sit — still !" panted our hero to the young 
woman, who had arisen to the seat. "I'll have 
him stopped in half a minute now !" 

It was in less time than that, for the horse, 
finding it impossible to shake off the grip of Tom, 
began to slow from a gallop to a trot, then to a 
canter, and finally to a slow walk. A moment 
later the horse had stopped, breathing heavily 
from his run. 

"There, there, now!" spoke Tom soothingly. 
"You're all right, old fellow. I hope you're not 
hurt" — this to the young lady — and Tom made a 
motion to raise his cap, only to find that it had 
blown off. 

"Oh, no — no; I'm more frightened than hurt." 

"It was all my fault," declared the young in- 
ventor. "I should not have swung into the r<Kid 
so sHddenly. My bicycle alarmed your horse." 

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"Oh, I fancy Dobbin is easily disturbed," ad- 
mitted the fair driver. "I can't thank you enough 
for stopping him. You saved me from a bad acci- 

"It was the least I could do. Are you all right 
now ?" and he handed up the dangling reins. "I 
think Dobbin, as you call him, has had enough of 
running," went on Tom, for the horse was now 

"I hope so. Yes, I am all right. I trust your 
wheel is not damaged. If it is, my father, Mr. 
Amos Nestor, of Mansburg, will gladly pay for 
its repair." 

This reminded the young inventor of his bi- 
cycle, and making sure that the horse would not 
start up again, he went to where his wheel and 
his cap lay. He found that the only damage to 
the bicycle was a few bent spokes, and, straighten- 
ing them and having again apologized to the 
young woman, receiving in turn her pardon and 
thanks, and learning that her name was Mary 
Nestor, Tom once more resumed his trip. The 
wagon followed him at a distance, the horse evin- 
cing no desire now to get out of a slow amble. 

"Well, things are certainly happening to me to- 
day," mused Tom as he pedaled on. "That might 
have been a serious runaway if there'd been any- 
thing in the road." 

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Tom did not stop to think that he had been 
mainly instrumental in preventing a bad acci- 
dent, as he had been the innocent cause of start- 
ing the runaway, but Tom was ever a modest lad. 
His arms were wrenched from jerking on they 
bridle, but he did not mind that much, and bent 
over the handle-bars to make up for lost time. 

Our hero was within a short distance of his 
house and was coasting easily along when, just 
ahead of him, he saw a cloud of dust, very similar 
to the one that had, some time before, concealed 
the inexperienced motor-cyclist 

"I wonder if that's him again?" thought Tcrni. 
"If it is I'm going to hang back until I see which 
way he's headed. No use running any more . 

Almost at that moment a puff of wind blew 
some of the dust to one side. Tom had a glimpse 
of the man on the pufling machine. 

"It's the same chap t" he exclaimed aloud ; "and 
he's going the same way I am. Well, I'll not try 
to catch up to him. I wonder what he's been do- 
ing all this while, that he hasn't gotten any far , 
ther than this ? Either he's been riding back and' 
forth, or else he's been resting. My, but he cer- 
tainly is scooting along 1" 

The wind carried to Tom the sound of the 
e:q>lostons of the motor, and he could see the man 

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dinging tightly to the handle-bars. The rider 
was almost in front of Tom's house now, when, 
with a suddenness that caused the lad to utter an 
exclamation of alarm, the stranger turned his 
machine right toward a big oak tree. 

"What's he up to ?" cried Tom excitedly. "Does 
he think he can climb that, or is he giving an ex- 
hibition by showing how close he can come and 
not hit it?" 

A moment later the motor-cyclist struck the 
tree a glancing blow. The man went flying over 
the handle-bars, the machine was shunted to the 
ditch along the road, and falling over on one 
side the motor raced furiously. The rider lay 
in a heap at the foot of the tree. 

"My, that was a smash!" cried Tom. "He 
must be killed !" and bending forward, he ncti 
toward the scene of the accident. 

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When Tom reached the prostrate figure on 
ihe grass at the foot of the old cak tree, the youth 
bent quickly over the man. There was an ugly 
cut on his head, and blood was flowing from it 
But Tom quickly noticed that the stranger was 
breathing, though not very strongly. 

"Well, he's not dead — just yet !" exclaimed the 
youth with a sigh of relief. "But I guess he's 
pretty badly hurt. I must get help — no, I'll take 
him into our house. It's not far. I'll call dad." 

Leaning his wheel against the tree Tom started 
for his home, about three hundred feet away, and 
then he noticed that the stranger's motor-cycle 
was running at full speed on the ground. 

"Guess I'd better shut off the power!" he ex- 
claimed. "No use letting the machine be ruined." 
Tom had a natural love for machinery, and it 
hurt hira almost as much to see a piece of fine 
apparatus abused as it did to see an animal mis- 

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treated. It was the work of a mwnent to shut off 
the gasolene and spark, and then the youth raced 
on toward his house. 

"Where's dad?" he called to Mrs. Baggert, who 
was washing the dishes. 

"Out in one of the shops," replied the house- 
keeper. "Why, To— " she went on hurriedly as 
she saw how excited he was, "whatever has h^ 

"Man hurt — out in front — motor-cycle smash — 
I'm going to bring him in here — get some things 
ready — I'll find dadi" 

"Bless and save usl" cried Mrs. Ba^ert. 
"Whatever are we coming to? Who's hurt? 
How did it happen? Is he dead?" 

"Haven't time to talk now!" answered Tom, 
rushing from the house. "Dad and I will bring 
him in here." 

Tom found his father in one of the three small 
machine shops on the grounds about the Swift 
home. The youth hurriedly told what had hap- 

"Of course we'll bring him right in here I" as- 
sented Mr, Swift, putting aside the work upon . 
which he was engaged. "Did you tell Mrs. Bag- 

"Yes, and she's all excited." 

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"Well, she can't help it, being a woman, I sup- 
pose. But we'll manage. Do you know the man?" 

"Never saw him before to-day, when he tried 
to run me down. Guess he doesn't know much 
about motw-cycles. But come on, dad. He may 
bleed to death." 

Father and son hurried to where the stranger 
lay. As they bent over him he opened his eyes 
and asked faintly: 

"Where am I? What happened?" 

"You're all right — in good hands," said Mr. 
Swift "Are you much hurt?" 

"Not much — mostly stunned, I guess. What 
happened?" he repeated. 

"You and your motor-cycle tried to climb a 
tree," remarked Tom with grim humor. 

"Oh, yes, I remember now. 1 couldn't seem 
to steer out of the way. And I couldn't shut off 
the power in time. Is the motor-cycle much dam- 

"The front wheel is," reported Tom, after an 
inspection, "and there are some other breaks, but 
"C guess " 

"I wish it was all smashed !" exclaimed the man 
'vigorously. "I never want to see it again t" 
J "Why, don't you like it?" asked Tom eagerly. 

"No, and I never will," the man spoke faintly 
but determinedly. 

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"Never mind now," interposed Mr. Swift. 
"Don't excite yourself. My son and I will take 
you to our house and send for a doctor." 

"I'll bring the motor-cycle, after we've carried 
you in," added Tom. 

"Don't worry about the machine. I never want 
to see it again!" went on the man, rising to a 
sitting position. "It nearly killed me twice to- 
day. I'll never ride again." 

"You'll feel differently after the doctor fixes 
you up," said Mr. Swift with a smile. 

"Doctor I I don't need a doctor," cried the 
Stranger. "I am only bruised and shaken up." 

"You have a bad cut on your head," said Tom. 

"It isn't very deep," went on the injured man, 
placing his fingers on it "Fortunately I struck 
the tree a glancing blow. If you will allow me 
to rest in your house a little while and give me 
Ewne plaster for the cut I shall be all right again." 

"Can you walk, or shall we carry you?" asked 
Tom's father. 

"Oh, I can walk, if you'll support me a little." 
And the stranger proved that he could do thir 
by getting to his feet and taking a few steps. 
Mr. Swift and his son took hold of his arms and 
led him to the house. There he was placed on a 
lounge and given some simple restoratives by Mrs. 

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Bagg:ert, who, when she found the acrident was 
not serious, recovered her composure. 

"I must have been unconscious for a few min- 
,utes," went on the man, 

"You were," explained Tom. "When I got 
up to you I thought you were dead, until I saw 
you breathe. Then I shut off the power of your 
machine and ran in for dad. I've got the motor- 
cycle outside. You can't ride it for some time, I'm 

afraid, Mr, — er " and Tom stopped in some 

confusion, for he realized that he did not know 
the man's name. 

"I beg your pardon for not introducing myself 
before," went on the stranger. "I'm Wakefield 
Damon, of Waterfield. But don't worry about 
me riding that machine again. I never shall." 

"Oh, perhaps " began Mr. Swift. 

"No, I never shall," went on Mr. Damon posi- 
tively. "My doctor told me to get it, as he thought 
riding around the country would benefit my health. 
I shall tell him his prescription nearly killed me." 

"And me too," added Tom with a laugh. 

"How — why — are you the young man I nearly 
ran down this morning?" asked Mr. Damon, sud- 
denly sitting up and looking at the youth. 

"I am," answered our hero. 

"Bless my soul ! So you are !" cried Mr. 
Damoa "I was wondering who it could be. It's 

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quite a coincidence. But I was in such a cloud 
of dust I couldn't make out who it was." 

"You had your muffler open, and that made 
considerable dust," explained Tom. 

"Was that it? Bless my existence! I thought 
something was wrong, but I couldn't tell what. I 
went over all the instructions in the book and 
those the agent told me, but I couldn't think of 
the right one. I tried all sorts of things to make 
less dust, but I couldn't. Then, bless my eyelashes, 
if the machine didn't stop just after I nearly ran 
into you. I tinkered over it for an hour or more 
before I could get it to going again. Then I ran 
into the tree. My doctor told me the machine 
would do my liver good, but, bless my happiness, 
I'd as soon be without a liver entirely as to do 
what I've done to-day. I am done with motor- 
cycling !" 

A hopeful look came over Tom's face, but he 
said nothing, that is, not just then. In a little 
while Mr. Damon felt so much better that he said 
he would start for home, 

"I'm afraid you'll have to leave your machine 
here," said Tom. 

"You can send for it any time you want to," 
added Mr. Swift. 

"Bless my hatband t" exclaimed Mr. Damon, 
who appeared to be very fond of blessing his vari- 

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ous organs and his articles of wearing apparel. 
"Bless my hatband! I never want to see it again! 
If you will be so kind as to keep it for me, I will 
.send a junk man after it. I will never spend any- 
thing on having it repaired. I am done with that 
form of exercise — liver or no liver — doctor or no 

He appeared very determined. Tom quickly 
made up his mind. Mr, Damon had gone to the 
bathroom to get rid of some of the mud on his 
hands and face. 

"Father," said Tom earnestly, "may I buy that 
machine of him?" 

"What? Buy a broken motor-cycle?" 

"I can easily fix it. It is a fine make, and in 
good condition. I can repair it. I've wanted a 
motor-cycle for some time, and here's a chance to 
get a good one cheap." 

"You don't need to do that," replied Mr. Swift. 
"You have money enough to buy a new one if 
you want it. I never knew you cared for them." 

"I didn't, until lately. But I'd rather buy this 
one and fix it up than get a new one. Besides, I 
have an idea for a new kind of transmission, and 
perhaps I can work it out on this machine." 

"Oh, well, if you want it for experimental pur- 
poses, I suppose it will be as good as any. Go 



ahead, get it if you wish, but don't give too mudi 
for it." 

"I'll not I fancy I can get it cheap." 

Mr. Damon returned to the living-room, where 
he had first been carried. 

"I cannot thank you enough for what you have' 
done for me," he said. "I might have lain there 
for hours. Bless my very existence I I have had 
a very narrow escape. Hereafter when I see any- 
one on a motor-cycle I shall turn my head away. 
The memory will be too painful," and he touched 
the plaster that covered a cut on his head. 

"Mr. Damon," said Tom quickly, "will you 
sell me that motor-cycle?" 

"Bless my finger rings! Sell you that mass of 
junk ?" 

"It isn't all junk," went on the young inventor, 
"I can easily fix it ; though, of amrse," he added 
prudently, "it will cost something. How much 
would you want for it?" 

"Well," replied Mr. Damon, "I paid two hun- 
dred and fifty dollars last week. I have ridden a 
hundred miles on it That is at the rate of two 
dollars and a half a mile — pretty expensive riding. 
But if you are in earnest I will let you have the 
machine for fifty dollars, and then I fear that I 
will be taking advantage of you." 

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"I'll give you fifty dollars," said Tom quickly, 
and Mr. Damon exclaimed : 

"Bless my liver — that is, if I have one. Do you 
mean it ?" 

Tom nodded. I'll fetch you the money right 
■ away," he said, starting for his room. He got the 
cash from a small safe he had arranged, which 
was fitted up with an ingenious burglar alarm, and 
was on his way downstairs when he heard his 
father call out : 

"Here! What do you want? Go away from 
that shop I No one is allowed there 1" and looking 
from an upper window, Tom saw his father run- 
ning toward a stranger, who was just stepping 
inside the shop where Mr. Swift was constructing 
his turbine motor. Tom started as he saw that 
the stranger was the same black-mustached man 
whom he had noticed in the post-office, and, later, 
in the restaurant at Mansburg. 




Stuffing the money which lie intended to give 
to Mr. Damon in his pocket, Tom ran down- 
stairs. As he passed through the living-room, in- 
tending to see what the disturbance was about, 
and, if necessary, aid his father, the owner of the 
broken motor-cycle exclaimed : 

"What's the matter? What has happened? 
Bless my coat-tails, but is anything wrong ?" 

"I don't know," answered Tom. "There is a 
stranger about the shop, and my father never al- 
lows that. I'll be back in a minute." 

"Take your time," advised the somewhat eccen- 
tric Mr. Damon. "I find my legs are a bit weaker 
than I suspected, and I will be glad to rest a while 
longer. Bless my shoelaces, but don't hurry !" 

Tom went into the rear yard, where the sh(^s, 
in a small cluster of buildings, were located. He 
saw his father confrtmting the man with the black 
mustache, and Mr. Swift was saying: 

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"What do you want ? I allow no people to come 
in here unless 1 or my son invites them. Did 
you wish to see me?" 

"Are you Mr. Barton Swift ?" asked the man.' 

"Yes, that is my name." 

"The inventor of the Swift safety lamp, and 
the turbine motor?" 

At the mention of the motor Mr. Swift started. 

"I am the inventor of the safety lamp you men- 
tion," he said stiffly, "but I must decline to talk 
about the motor. May I ask where you obtained 
your information concerning it?" 

"Why, I am not at liberty to tell," went on the 
man. "I called to see if we could negotiate with 
you for the sale of it. Parties whom I repre- 
sent " 

At that moment Tom plucked his father by the 

"Dad," whispered the youth, "I saw liim in 
Mansbui^. I think he is one of several who have 
been inquiring in Mr. Merton's shop about you 
and your patents. I wouldn't have anything to 
do with him until I found out more about him." 

"Is that so?" asked Mr. Swift quickly. Then, 
turning to the stranger, he said : "My son tells 
me ■" 

But Mr. Swift got no further, for at that mo- 

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ment the stranger caught sight of Tom, whom 
he had not noticed before. 

"Ha !" exclairaed the man. "I have forgotten 
something — an important engagement — will be 
back directly — will see you again, Mr., Swift — 
excuse the trouble I have put you to — I am in a 
great hurry," and before father or son could stop 
him, had they any desire to, the man turned and 
walked quickly from the yard. 

Mr. Swift stood staring at him, and so did Tom. 
Then the inventor asked : 

"Do you know that man? What about him. 
Tom ? Why did he leave so hurriedly ?" 

"I don't know his name," replied Tom, "but I 
am suspicious regarding him, and I think he left 
because he suddenly recognized me." Tliereupon 
he told his father of seeing the man in the post- 
office, and hearing the talk of the same individual 
and two companions in the restaurant. 

"And so you think they are up to some mis- 
chief, Tom ?" asked the parent when the son had 

"Well, I wouldn't go quite as far as that, but 
I think they are interested in your patents, and 
you ought to know whether you want them to be, 
or not." 

"I most certainly do not— especially in the tur- 
bine motor. That is my latest invention, and, I 

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think, will prove very valuable. But, though 1 
have not mentioned it before, I expect to have 
trouble with it. Soon after I perfected it, with 
the exception of some minor details, I received 
word from a syndicate of rich men that I wa? 
infringing on a motor, the patent of which they 

"This surprised me for two reasons. One was 
because I did not know that any one knew I had 
invented the motor. I had kept the matter secret, 
and I am at a loss to know how it leaked out. 
To prevent any further information concerning 
my plans becoming public, I sent you to Mans- 
burg to-day. But it seems that the precaution 
was of little avail. Another matter of surprise 
was the information that I was infringing on the 
patent of some one else. I had a very careful 
examination made, and I found that the syndi- 
cate of rich men was wrong. I was not infringing. 
In fact, though the motor they have is somewhat 
like mine, there is orie big diiTerence — theirs does 
not work, while mine does. Their patents are 

"Then what do srou think is their object?" 
"I think they want to get control of my in- 
vention of the turbine motor, Tom. That is what 
Ws been worrying me lately. I know these men 



to be unscrupulous, and, with plenty of money, 
they may make trouWe for me." 

"But can't you fight them in the courts?" 

"Yes, I could do that It is not as if I was a 
poor man, but I do not like lawsuits. I want to 
live quietly and invent things. I dislike litiga- 
tion. However, if they force it cm me I will 
fight I" exclaimed Mr, Swift determinedly. 

"Do you think this man was one of the crowd 
of financiers?" asked Tom. 

"It would be hard to say. I did not like his 
actions, and the fact that he sneaked in here, as 
if he was trying to get possession of some of my 
models or plans, makes it suspicious." 

"It certainly does," agreed Tom. "Now, if we 
only knew his name we could " 

He suddenly paused in his remark and sprang 
forward. He picked up an envelope that had 
dropped where the stranger had been standing. 

"The man lost this from his pocket, dad," said 
Tcan eagerly. "It's a telegram. Shall we look at 

"I think we will be justified in protecting our- 
selves. Is the envelope open?" 


"Then read the telegram." 

Tom drew out a folded yellow slip of paper. 
It was a short message. He read : 

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" 'Anson Morse, Mansburg. See Swift to-day. 
Make offer. If not accepted do the best you can. 
Spare no effort. Don't give plans away.' " 

"Is that all?" asked Mr. Swift. 

"AH except the signature." 

"Who is the telegram signed by?" 

"By Smeak & Katch," answered Tom. 

"Those rascally lawyers!" exclaimed his fa- 
ther, "I was beginning to suspect this. That is 
the firm which represents the sjmdicate of wealthy 
men who are trying to get my turbine motor pa- 
tents away from me. Tom, we must be on our 
guard I They will wage a fierce fight against me, 
for they have sunk many thousands of dollars 
in 3 worthless machine, and are desperate." 

"We'll fight 'em!" cried Tom. "You and I, 
dad ! We'll show 'em that the firm of Swift & 
Son is swift by name and swift by nature !" 

"Good!" exclaimed the inventor. "I'm glad 
■you feel that way about it, Tom. But we are 
going to have no easy task. Those men are rich 
and unscrupulous. We shall have to be on guard 
constantly. Let me have that telegram. It may 
come in useful. Now I must send word to Reid 
& Crawford, my attorneys in Washington, to be 
on the lookout. Matters are coming to a curious 

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As Mr. Swift and his son started for the house, 
they met Mr. Damon coming toward them. 

"Bless my very existence !" cried the eccentric 
,man. "I was beginning to fear something had 
happened to yoa I am glad that you are all 
nght I heard voices, and I imagined " 

"It's all right," Mr. Swift reassured him. 
"There was a stranger about my shop, and I never 
allow that. Do you feel well enough to go? If 
not we shall be glad to have you remain with us. 
We have plenty of room." 

"Oh, thank you very much, but I must be go- 
ing. I feel much better. Bless my gaiters, but 
I never will trast myself in even an automobile 
again I I will renounce gasolene from now on." 

"That reminds me," spoke Tom. "I have the 
money for the motor-cycle," and he drew out the 
bills. "You are sure you will not regret your 
bargain, Mr. Damon ? The machine is new, and 
needs only slight repairs. Fifty dollars is " 

"Tut, tut, young man ! I feel as if I was get- 
ting the best of you. Bless my handkerchief 1 I 
iSope you have no bad luck with it." 

"I'll try and be careful," promised Tom with a 
smile as he handed over the money. "I am going 
to gear it differently and put some improvements 
on it. Then I will use it instead of my bicycle." 

"It would have to be very much improved be- 

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fore I trusted myself on it again," declared Mr, 
Damon. "Well, I appreciate what you have done 
for me, and if at any time I can reciprocate the 
favor, I will only be too glad to do so. Bless my 
soul, though, I hope I don't have to rescue you 
from trying to climb a tree," and with a laugh, 
which showed that he had fully recovered from 
his mishap, he shodc hands with father and son 
and left. 

"A very nice man, Tom," commented Mr. 
Swift. "Somewhat odd and out of the ordinary, 
but a very fine character, for all that." 

"That's what I say," added the son, "Now, 
dad, you'll see me scooting around the country 
on a motor-cycle. I've always wanted one, and 
now I have a bargain." 

"Do you think you can repair it?" 

"Of course, dad. I've done more difficult things 
than that. I'm going to take it apart now, and 
see what it needs." 

"Before you do that, Tom, I wish you would 
take a telegram to town for me. I must wire my 
lawyers at once. " 

"Dad looks worried," thought Tom as hi. 
wheeled the bre^en motor-cycle into a machine 
shop, where he did most of his work. "Well, I 
don't blame him. But we'll get the best of those 
scoundrels yet I" 




While Mr. Swift was writing the message he 
wished his son to take to the village, the young 
mechanic inspected the motor-cycle he had pur- 
chased. Tom found that a few repairs would 
suffice to put it in good shape, though an entire 
new front wheel would be needed. The motor 
had not been damaged, as he ascertained by a 
test. Tom rode into town on his bicycle, and as 
he hurried along he noticed in the west a bank 
of ugly-looking clouds that indicated a shower, 

"I'm in for a wetting before I get back," he 
mused, and he increased his speed, reaching the 
telegraph office shortly before seven o'clock, 

"Think this storm will hold off until I get 
home?" asked Tom. 

"I'm afraid not," answered the agent. "You'd 
better get a hustle on." 

Tom sprinted off. It was getting dark rapidly, 
and when he was about a mile from home he felt 
several warm drops on his face. 

en by Google 


"Here it comes!" exclaimed the youth. "Now 
for a little more speed t" 

Tom pressed harder on the pedals, too hard, in 
[act, for an instant later something snapped, and 
the next he knew he was flying over the handle- 
bars of the bicycle. At the same time there was 
a metallic, clinking sound. 

"Qiain's busted!" exclaimed the lad as he 
picked himself up out of the dust. "Well, 
wouldn't that jar you!" and he walked back to 
where, in the dustc, he could dimly discern his 

The chain had come off the two ^rodtets and 
was lying to one side. Tom pidced it up and as- 
certained by close observation that the screw and 
nut holding the two joining links together was 

"Nice pickle!" he murmured. "How am I go- 
ing to find it in all this dust and darkness?" he 
asked himself disgustedly. "I'll carry an extra 
screw next time. No, I won't, either. I'll ride 
my motor-cycle next time. Well, I may as well 
give a look around. I hate to walk, if I can fix 
■'t and ride." 

Tom had not spent more than two minutes look- 
ing about the dusty road, with the aid of matches, 
for the screw, when the rain suddenly began fall- 
ing in a hard shower. 



"Guess there's no use lingering here any 
longer," he remarked. "I'll push the wheel and 
run for home." 

He started down the road in the storm and 
darkness. The highway soon became a long pud- 
dle of mud, through which he splashed, finding 
it more and more difficult every minute to push 
the bicycle in the thick, sticky clay. 

Above the roar of the wind and the swishing 
of the rain he heard another sound. It was a 
steady "pufF-puff," and '^ then the darkness was 
cut by a glare of light. 

"An automobile," said Tom aloud. "Guess I'd 
better get out of the way." 

He turned to one side, but the auto, instead of 
passing him when it got to the place where he 
was, made a sudden stop. 

"Want a ride?" asked the chauffeur, peering 
out from the side curtains which somewhat pro- 
tected Jiim from the storm. Tom saw that the 
car was B large, touring one. "Can I give you a' 
lift?" went on the driver. 

"Well, I've got my bicycle with me," explained 
the young inventor. "My chain's broken, and 
I've got a mile to go." 

"Jump up in back," invited the man. "Leave 
your wheel here; I guess it will be safe." 

"Oh, I couldn't do that," said Tom, "I don't 

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mind walking. I'm wet through now, and I.can't 
get much wetter. "I'm much obliged, though." 

"Well, I'm sorry, but I can hardly take you and 
the bicycle, too," continued the chauffeur. 
' "Certainly not," added a voice from the tonneau 
of the car. "We can't have a muddy bicycle in 
here. Who is that person, Simpson?" 

"It's a young man," answered the driver. 

"Is he acquainted around here?" went on the 
voice from the rear of the car. "Ask him if he 
is acquainted around here, Simpson." 

Tom was wondering where he had heard that 
voice before. He had a vague notion that it was 

"Are you acquainted around here?" obediently 
asked the inan at the wheel. 

"I live here," replied Tom, 

"Ask him if he knows any one named Swift?" 
continued the voice from the lonneau, and the 
driver started to repeat it 

"I heard him," interrupted Tom. "Yes, I know 
a Mr. Swift" ; but Tom, with a sudden resolve, 
;and one he could hardly explain, decided that, 
for the present, he would not betray his own 

"Ask him if Mr. Swift is an inventor." Once 
more the unseen person spoke in the voice Tom 
was trying vainly to recall. 

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"Yes, he is an inventor," was the- youth's an- 

"Do you know much about him? What are his 
habits? Does he live near his workshops? Does 
he keep many servants? Does he " 

The unseen questioner suddenly parted the side 
curtains and peered out at Tom, who stood in the 
muddy road, close to the automobile. At that 
moment there came a bright flash of lightning, 
illuminating not only Tom's face, but that of his 
questioner as well. And at the sight Tom started, 
no less than did the man. For Tom had recog- 
nized him as one of the three mysterious persons 
in the restaurant, and as for the man, he had also 
recognized Tom. 

"Ah — er — um — is Why, it's you, isn't it?" 

cried the questioner, and he thrust his head far- 
ther out from between the curtains. My, what 
a storm t" he exclaimed as the rain increased. "So 
you know Mr. Swift, eh ? I saw you to-day in 
Mansburg, I think. I have a good memory Cor 
faces. Do you work for Mr. Swift? If you do 
I may be able to " 

"I'm Tom Swift, son of Mr. Barton Swift," 
said Tom as quietly as he could. 

"Tom Swift ! His son I" cried the man, and he 
seemed much agitated. "Why, I thought — that 
is, Morse said Simpson, hurry back to Mans- 

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burg!" and with that, taking no more notice of 
Tom, the man in the auto hastily drew the cur- 
tains together. 

The chauffeur threw in the gears and swung the 
oonderous machine to one side. The road was 
wide, and he made the turn skilfully. A moment 
later the car was speeding back the way it had 
come, leaving Tom standing on the highway, 
alone in the mud and darkness, with the rain 
pouring down m» torrents. 

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Tom's first impulse was to run after the auto- 
mobile, the red tail-light of which glowed through 
the blackness like a ruby eye. Then he realized 
that it was going from him at such a swift pace 
that it would be impossible to get near it, even if 
his bicycle was in working order. 

"But if I had my motor-cycle I'd catch up to 
them," he murmured. "As it is, I must hurry 
home and tell dad. This is another link in the 
queer chain that seems to be winding around us. 
I wonder who that man was, and what he wanted 
by asking so many personal questions about dad ?" 

Trundling his wheel before him, with the chain 
dangling from the handle-bar, Tom splashed on 
through the mud and rain. It was a lonesome, 
weary walk, tired as he was with the happenings 
of the day, and the young inventor breathed a 
sigh of thankfulness as the lights of his home 
shone out in the mist of the storm. As he tramped 

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Up the Steps of the side porch, his wheel bumping 
along ahead of hira, a door was thrown open. 

"Why, it's Tom!" exclaimed Mrs. Baggert. 
"Whatever happened to you?" and she hurried 
forward with kindly solicitude, for the house- 
keeper was almost a second mother to the youth. 

"Chain broke," answered the lad laconically. 
"Where's dad?" 

"Out in the shop, working at his latest inven- 
tion, I expect. But are you hurt?" 

"Oh, no. I fell easily. The mud was like a 
feather-bed, you know, except that it isn't so good 
for the clothes," and the young inventor looked 
down at his splashed and bedraggled garments. 

Mr. Swift was very much surprised when Tom 
told him of the happening on the road, and re- 
kted the conversation and the subsequent alarm 
of the man on learning Tom's identity. 

"Who do you suppose he could have been?" 
asked Tom, when he had finished. 

"I am pretty certain he was one of that crowd 
of nnanciers of whom Anson Morse seems to be 
a representative," said Mr. Swift "Are you sure 
the man was one of those you saw in the restau- 

"Positive. I had a good look at him both times. 
Do you think he imagined he could come here and 
get possession of some of your secrets?" 

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"I hardly know what to think, Tom. But we 
will take every precaution. We will set the bur- 
glar alarm wires, which I have neglected for some 
time^ as I fancied everything would be secure 
here. Then I will take my plans and the model 
of the turbine motor into the house. I'll run no 
chances to-night." 

Mr, Swift, who was adjusting some of the 
new bolts that Tom had brought home that day, 
began to gather up his tools and material. 

"I'll help you, dad," said Tom, and he began 
connecting the burglar alarm wires, there being 
an elaborate system of them about the house, shops 
and grounds. 

Neither Tom nor his father slept well that 
night. Several times one or the other of them 
arose, thinking they heard unusual noises, but 
it was only some disturbance caused by the storm, 
and morning arrived without anything unusual 
having taken place. The rain still continued, and 
Tom, looking from his window and seeing the 
downpour, remarked: 

"I'm glad of it 1" 

"Why?" asked his father, who was in the next 

"Because I'll have a good excuse for staying 
in and working on my motor-cycle." 

"But you must do some studying," declared 

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Mr. Swift. "I will hear you in mathematics 
right after breakfast." 

"All right, dad. I guess yoa'll find I have my 

TcMn had graduated with honors from a local 
academy, and when it came to a question of go- 
ing further in his studies, he had elected to con- 
tinue with his father for a tutor, instead of going 
to college. Mr. Swift was a very learned man, 
and this arrangement was satisfactory to him, as 
it allowed Tom more time at home, so he could 
aid his father on the inventive work and also plan 
things for himself. Tom showed a taste for me- 
chanics, and his father wisely decided that such 
training as his son needed could be given at home 
to better advantage than in a school or college. 

Lessons over, Tom hurried to his own particu- 
lar shop, and began taking apart the damaged 

"First I'll straighten the handle-bars, and then 
I'll fix the motor and transmission," he decided. 
"The front wheel I can buy in town, asthis one 
would hardly pay for repairing." 

T(Hn was soon busy with wrenches, hammers, 
pliers and screw-driver. He was in his element, 
and was whistling over his task. The motor he 
found in good condition, but it was not such an 
easy task as he had hoped to change the trans- 

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missicHi. He had finally to appeal to his father, 
in order to get the right proportion between the 
back and front gears, for the motor-cycle was 
.operated hy a sprocket chain, instead of a belt 
Irive, as is the case with s(wne. 

Mr. Swift showed Tom how to figure out the 
number of teeth needed on each sprocket, in order 
to get an increase of speed, and as there was a 
sprocket wheel from a disused piece of machinery 
available, Tom took that He soon had it in place, 
and then tried the motor. To his delight the num- 
ber of revolutions of the rear wheel were in- 
creased about fifteen per cent 

"I guess I'll make some speed," he announced 
to his father. 

"But it will take more gasolene to run the 
motor; don't forget that. You know the great 
principle of mechanics — that you can't get out of 
a machine any more than you put into it, nor 
quite as much, as a matter of fact, for considerable 
is lost through friction." 

"Well, then, I'll enlarge the gasolene tank," 
declared Tom. "I want to go fast when I'm 
I going." 

■' He reassemMed the machine, and after several 
hours of work had it in shape to run, except that 
a front wheel was lacking. 

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"1 think I'll go to town and get one," he re- 
marked. "The rain isn't quite so hard now." 

In spite of his father's mild objections Tom 
went, using his bicycle, the chain of which he had 
quickly repaired. He found just the front wheel 
needed, and that night his motor-cycle was ready 
to run. But it was too dark to try it then, espe- 
cially as he had no good lantern, the one on the 
cycle having been smashed, and his own Wcyde 
light not being powerful enough. So he had to 
postpone his trial trip until the next day. 

He was up early the following morning, and 
went out for a spin before breakfast He came 
back, with flushed cheeks and bright eyes, just as 
Mr. Swift and Mrs. B^gert were sitting down 
to the table. 

"To Reedville and back," announced Tom 

"What, a round trip of thirty miles !" exclaimed 
Mr. Swift. 

"That's what !" declared his son. "I went like 
a greased pig most of the way. I had to slow 
up going through Mansburg, but the rest of the 
time I let it out for all it was worth. 

"You must be careful," cautioned his father. 
"You are not an expert yet." 

"No, I realize that. Several times, when I 
wanted to slow up, I began to back-pedal, forget- 

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ting that I wasn't on my bicyde. Then I thought 
to shut off the power and put on the brake. But 
it's glorious fun. I'm going out again as soon as 
I have something to eat. That is, unless you 
want me to help you, dad." 

"No, not this morning. Learn to ride the 
motor-cycle. It may come in handy." 

Neither Tom nor his father realized what an 
important part the machine was socm to play in 
their lives. 

Tom went out for another spin after breakfast, 
and in a different direction. He wanted to see 
what the machine would do on a hill, and there 
was a long, steep one about five miles from home. 
The roads were in fine shape after the rain, and 
he speeded up the incline at a rapid rate. 

"It certainly does eat up the road," the lad 
murmured. "I have improved this machine con- 
siderably. Wish I could take out a patent on it." 

Reaching the crest of the slope, he started down 
the incline. He turned off part of the power, and 
was gliding along joyously, when from a cross- 
""oad he suddenly saw turn into the main highway 
a mule, drawing a ramshackle wagon, loaded with 
fence posts. Beside the animal walked an old 
colored man. 

"I hope he gets out of the way in time," thought 
Tom. "He's moving as slow as molasses, and 

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I'm g:oing a bit faster than I like. Guess I'll shut 
off and put on the brakes." 

The mule and wagon were now squarely across 
the road. Tom was coming nearer and nearer. 
He turned the handle-grip, controlling the supplyi 
of gasolene, and to his horror he found that it 
was stuck. He could not stop the motor-cycle! 

"Look out! Look out!" cried Tom to the 
negro. "Get out of the way! I can't stop! Let 
me pass you !" 

The darky looked up. He saw the approach- 
ing machine, and he seemed to lose possession of 
his senses. 

"Whoa, Boomerang!" cried the negro. "Wheat 
Suffin's gwine t' happen !" 

"That's what!" muttered Tom desperately, as 
he saw that there was not room for him to pass 
without going into the ditch, a proceeding that 
would mean an upset. "Pull out of the way!" 
he yelled again. 

But either the driver could not understand, or 
did not appreciate the necessity. The mule 
stopped and reared up. The colored man hurrieil 
to the head of the animal to quiet it 

"Whoa, Boomerang! Jest yo' stand still!" he 

Tom, with a great effort, managed to twist the 
grip and finally shut off the gasolene. But it was 

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too late. He struck the darky with the front 
wheel. Fortunately the youth had managed to 
somewhat reduce his speed by a quick applica- 
tion of the brake, or the result might have been 
serious. As it was, the colored man was gently 
lifted away from the mule's head and tossed into 
the long grass in the ditch. Tom, by a great ef- 
fort, succeeded in maintaining his seat in the 
saddle, and then, bringing the machine to a stop, 
he leaped off and turned back. 

The colored man was sitting up, looking dazed. 

"Whoa, Boomerang !" he murmured. "Suffin's 
happened !" 

But the mule, who had quieted down, only wag- 
gled his ears lazily, and Tom, ready to laugh, 
now that he saw he had not ctunmitted man- 
slaughter, hurried to where the colored man was 

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"AtCE you hurt?" asked Tom as he leaned his 
motor-cycle against the fence and stood beside 
the negro. 

"Hurt?" repeated the darky. "I'se killed, dat's 
what I is ! I ain't got a whole bone in mah body I 
Good landy, but I suttinly am in a awful state! 
Would yo' mind tellin' me if dat ar' mule am 
still alive?" 

"Of course he Is," answered Tom. "He isn't 
hurt a bit But why can't you turn around and 
look for yourself?" 

"No, sah! No, indeedy, sah!" replied the col- 
ored man. "Yo' doan't catch dis yeah nigger 
lookin' around t" 

"Why not?" 

"Why not? 'Cause I'll tell yo' why not I'm 
so stiff an' I'm so nearly broke t' pieces, dat if I 
tiim mah head around it suah will twist offen 
viah body. No, sah I No, indeedy, sah, I ain't 

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gwine t' turn 'roatid. But am yo' suah dat mah 
mule Boomerang ain't hurted?" 

"No, he's not hurt a bit, and I'm sure you are 
not I didn't strike you hard, for I had almost 
stopped my machine. Try to get up. I'm posi- . 
tive you'll find yourself all right. I'm sorry it 

"Oh, dat's all right. Doan't mind me," went 
on the colored man. "It was mah fault fer gittin 
in de road. But dat mule Boomerang am suttinly 
de most outrageous quadraped dat ever circum- 

"Why do you call him Boomerang?" asked 
Tom, wondering if the negro really was hurt 

"What fo' I call him Boomerang? Did yo' 
eber see dem Australian black mans what go 
around wid a circus t'row dcm crooked sticks dey 
calls boomerangs ?" 

"Yes, I've seen them." 

"Well, Boomerang, mah mule, am jest laik dat. 
He's crooked, t' begin wid, an' anudder t'ing, yo' 
can't never tell when yo' start him whar he'i 
gwine t' land up. Dat's why I calls him Bonn- 

"I see. It's a very proper name. But whj; 
don't ycMi try to get up?" 

"Does yo' t'ink I can?" 

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"Sure. Try it By the : way, what's your 

"My name? Why I was christened Eradicate 
Andrew Jackson Atw^ham Lincoln Sampson, but 
folks most ginnerally calls me -Eradicate Samp- 
son, an' some doan't eben go to dat len^h. Dey 
jest calls me Rad, fo' short" 

"Eradicate," mused Tom. "That's a queer 
name, too. Why were you called that?" 

"Well, yo' seel eradicates de dirt. I'm a cleaner 
an' a whitewasher by profession, an' somebody 
gib me dat name. Dey said it were fitten an' 
proper,' an' I kept it eber sence. Yais, sah, I'se 
Eradicate Sampson* at yo' service, > Yo' ain'tgot 
no chicken coops yo' wants cleaned out, has yo' ? 
Or any stables or fences t' whitewash? I guar- 
antees satisfaction." 

"Well, I might find some work for you to do," 
replied the young inventor, thinking this would 
be as good a means as any of placating the dark}'. 
"But come, now, try and see if you can't stand. 
I don't believe! broke any of your legs." 

"I guess not. I feels better now. Where am 
>dat work yo' was speakin' ob?" and Eradicate 
Sampson, now that there seemed to be a prospect 
of earning money, rose quickly and easily. 

"Why, you're all right I" exclaimed Tom, glad 

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to find that the accident had had no serious con- 

"Yais, sah, I guess I be. Whar did yo' say 
yo' had some whitewashin' t' do?" 

"No place in particular, but there is always 
something that needs doing at our house. If you 
call I'll give you a job." 

"Yais, sah, I'll be sure to call," and Eradicate 
walked back to where Boomerang was patiently 

Tom told the colored man how to find the Swift 
home, and was debating with himself whether 
he ought not to offer Eradicate some money as 
compensation for knocking him into the air, when 
he noticed that the negro was tying one wheel 
of his wagon fast to the body of the vehicle with 
a rope. 

"What are you doing that for?" asked Tom. 

"Got to, t' git downhill wid dis load ob fence 
posts," was the answer. "Ef I didn't it would 
be right on to de heels ob Boomerang, an' when- 
eber he feels anyt'ing on his heels he does act 
wuss dan a circus mule." 

"But why don't you use your brake? I see 
you have one on the wagoa Use the brake to 
hold back going downhill." 

"'Scuse me, Mistah Swift, 'sense me!" ex- 
claimed Eradicate quickly. "But yo' doan't know 

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dat brake. It's wuss dan none at all. It dcan't 
work, fer a fact. No, indeedy, sah. I'se got to 
rope de wheel." 

' Tom was interested at once. He made an ex- 
amination of the brake, and soon saw why it 
would not hold the wheels. The foot lever was 
not properly connected with the brake bar. It 
was 3 simple matter to adjust it by changing a 
single bolt, and this Tom did with tools he took 
from the bag on his motor-cycle. The colored 
man looked on in open-mouthed amazement, and 
even Boomerang peered lazily around, as if taking 
an interest in the proceedings. 

"There," said Tom at length, as he tightened 
the nut. "That brake will work now, and hold 
the wagon on any hill. You won't need to rope 
the wheel. You didn't have the right leverage 
Ml it." 

" 'Scuse me, Mistah Swift, but what's dat yo' 
said?" and Eradicate leaned forward to listen 

"I said you didn't have the right leverage." 

"No, sah, Mistah Swift, 'scuse me, but yo' made 
a slight mistake. I ain't never had no liverage 
on dis yeah wagoa It ain't dat kind ob a wagon. 
I onct drove a livery rig, but dat vrere some years 
ago. I ain't worked fo' de livery stable in some 
time now. Dat's why I know dere ain't no livery 

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on dis wagon. Yo'll 'scuse me, but yo' am slight- 
ly mistaken." 

"All right," rejoined Tom with a laugh, not 
thinking it worth while to explain what he meant 
by the lever force of the brake rod. "Let it go at 
that. Livery or no livery, your brake will work 
now. I guess you're all right. Now don't forget 
to come around and do some whitewashing," and 
seeing that the colored man was able to mount to 
the seat and start off Boomerang, who seemed to 
have deep-rooted objections about moving, Tom 
wheeled his motor-cycle back to the road. 

Eradicate Sampson drove his wagon a short 
distance and then suddenly applied the brake. It 
stopped short, and the mule looked around as if 

"It suah do work, Mistah Swift!" called the 
darky to Tcrni, who was waiting the result of his 
little repair job. "It suah do work I" 

"I'm glad of it." 

"Mah golly I But yo' am suttinly a conjure- 
man when it comes t' fixin' wagons ! Did yo' ebcr 
work fer a blacksmith?" 

"No, not exactly. Well, good-by. Eradicate. 
I'll look for you some day next week." 

With that Tom leaped on his machine and 
speeded off ahead of the colored man and his rig. 

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'As he passed the load of fence posts the youth 
heard Eradicate remark in awestricken tones: 

"Mah golly! He suttinly go lalk de wind I 
^n' t' t'ink dat I were hit by dat monstrousness 
machine, an' not hurted! Mah gcAlyl T'ings 
am suttinly happeninM G'lang, Boomerang 1" 

"This machine has more possibilities in it than 
I suspected," mused Tom. "But one thing I've 
got to change, and that is the gasolene and spark 
controls. I don't like them the way they are. I 
want a better leverage, just as Eradicate needed 
on his wagon. I'll fix them, too, when I get 

He rode for several hours, until he thought it 
was about dinner time, and then, heading the 
machine toward home, he put on all the speed 
possible, soon arriving where his father was at 
work in the shop. 

"Well, how goes it?" asked Mr. Swift with a 
smile as he looked at the flushed face of his son. 

"Fine, dad! I scooted along in great shape. 
Had an adventure, too." 

"You didn't meet any more of those men, did 
/on? The men who are tryir^ to get my inven- 
tion?" asked Mr. Swift apprehensively. 

"No, indeed, dad. I simply had a little run-in 
with a chap named Eradicate Andrew Jackson 
Abraham Lincoln Sampson, otherwise known as 



Rad Sampson, and I engaged him to do sonK 
whitewashing for us. We do need some white- 
washing done, don't we, dad?" 

"What's that?" asked Mr. Swift, thinking his 
son was jc4cing. 

Then Tom told of the happening. 

"Yes, I think I can find some work for Eradi- 
cate to do," went on Mr. Swift "There is some 
dirt in the boiler shop that needs eradicating, and 
I think he can do it But dinner has been waiting 
some time. We'll go in now, or Mrs. Baggert 
will be out after us." 

Father and son were soon at the table, and 
Tom was explaining what he meant to do to im- 
prove his motor-cycle. His father offered some 
suggestions regarding the placing of the gaso- 
lene lever. 

"I'd put it here," he said, and with his pencil 
he began to draw a diagram 00 the white table- 

"Oh, my goodness me, Mr. Swift I" exclaimed 
Mrs. Baggert. "Whatever are you doing?" and 
she sprang up in some alarm. 

"What's the matter? Did I upset my tea?" 
asked the inventor innocently. 

"No; but you are soiling a dean tablecloth. 
Pencil-marks are so hard to get out. Take a 
piece of paper, please." 

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"Oh, is that all?" rejoined Mr. Swift with a 
smile. "Well, Tom, here is the way I would do 
that," and substituting the back of an envelope 
for the tablecloth, he continued the drawing. 

Tom was looking over his father's shoulder in- 
terestedly, when Mrs. Baggert, who was taking 
off some of the dinner dishes, suddenly asked : 

"Are you expecting a visitor, Mr. Swift?" 

"A visitor? No. Why?" asked the inventor 

"Because I just saw a man going in the ma- 
chine shop," went on the housekeeper. 

"A man ! In the machine shop !" exclaimed 
Tom, rising irom his chair. Mr. Swift also got 
up, and the two hurried from the house. As they 
reached the yard they saw a man emerging from 
the building where Mr. Swift was constructing 
his turbine motor. The man had his back turned 
toward them and seemed to be sneaking around, 
as though desirous of escaping observation. 

"What do you want?" called Mr. Swift. 

The man turned quickly. At the sight of Mr. 
Swift and Tom he made a jump to one side and 
got behind a big packing-box. 

"That's queer," spoke Tom. "I wonder what 
he wants?" 

"I'll soon see," rejoined Mr. Swift, and he 
started on a run toward where the man was hid- 

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tag. Tom followed his father, and as the two 
inventors reached the box the man sprang from 
behind it and down the yard to a lane that passed 
m back of the Swift house. As he ran he was 
»en to stuff some papers in his pocket. 

"My plans! He's stolen some of my plans!" 
cried Mr. Swift. "Catch him, Tom !" 

Tom ran after the stranger, whose curious ac- 
tions had roused their suspicions, while Mr. Swift 
entered the motor shop to ascertain whether any= 
thing had been stolen. 

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Down through the yard Tom speeded, in and 
out among the buildings, looking on every side 
for a sight of the bold stranger. No one was to 
be seen. 

"He can't be very far ahedd," thought Tom. "I 
ought to catch him before he gets to the woods. 
If he reaches there he has a g'rtod chance of get- 
ting away," 

There was a little patch of tiees just back of 
the inventor's house, not much of a woods, per- 
haps, but that is what they were called. 

"I wonder if he was some ordinary tramp, 
lodcing for what he could steal, or if he was 
one of the gang after dad's invention?" thought 
Tom as he sprinted ahead. 

By this time the youth was clear of the group 
of buildings and in sight of a tall, board fence, 
which surrounded the Swift estate on three sides. 
Here and there, along the barrier, were piled old 

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padcing-cases, so that It would be easy for a fugi- 
tive to leap upon one of them and so get over 
the fence. Torn thought of this possibility in a 

"I guess he got over ahead of me," the lad ex- 
claimed, and he peered sharply about "I'll catch 
him on the other side !" 

At that instant Tom tripped over a plank and 
went down full length, making quite a racket 
When he picked himself up he was surprised to 
see the man he was after dart from inside a big 
box and start for the fence, near a point where 
there were some packing-cases piled up, making a 
good approach to the barrier. The fugitive had 
been hiding, waiting for a chance to escape, and 
Tom's fall had alarmed him. 

"Here! Hold on there! Come back!" cried 
the youth as he recovered his wind and leaped 

But the man did not stay. With a bound he 
was up on the pile of boxes, and the next moment 
he was poised on top of the fence. Before leap- 
(ing down on the other side, a jump at which even 
a practiced athlete might well hesitate, the fleeing 
stranger paused and looked back. Tom gazed 
at him and recognized the man in an instant. He 
was the third of the mysterious trio whom the 
lad had seen in the Mansburg restaurant 

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"Wait a minute ! What do you want sneaking 
around here?" shouted Tom as he ran forward. 
The man returned no answer, and an instant later 
disappeared from view on the other side of the 

"He jumped down!" thought Tom. "A big 
leap, too. Well, I've got to follow. This is a 
queer proceeding. First one, then the second, 
and now the third of those men seem determined 
to get something here. I wonder if this one suc- 
ceeded? I'll soon find out," 

The lad was up on the pile of packing-cases and 
over the fence in almost record time. He caught 
a glimpse of the fugitive nmning toward the 
woods. Then the boy leaped down, jarring him- 
self considerably, and took after the man. 

But though Tom was a good runner he was 
handicapped by the fact that the man had a start 
of him, and also by the fact that the stranger 
had had a chance to rest while hiding for the 
second time in the big box, while Tom had kept 
on running. So it is no great cause for wonder 
that Mr. Swift's son found himself being dis- 

Once, twice he called on the fleeing one to halt, 
but the man paid no attention, and did not even 
turn around. Then the youth wisely concluded 
to save his wind for running. He did his best, 

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but was chagrined to see the man reach the woods 
ahead of him. 

"I've lost him now," thought Tom. "Well, 
there's no help for it." 

Still he did not give up, but kept on through 
the patch of trees. On the farther side was 
Lake Carlopa, a broad and long sheet of water. 

"If he doesn't know the lake's there," thought 
our hero, "he may keep straight on. The water 
v^ill be sure to stop him, and I can catch him. 
But what will I do with him after I get him? 
That's another question. I guess I've got a right 
to demand to know what he was doing around our 
place, though." 

But Tom need not have worried on this score. 
He could hear the fugitive ahead of him, and 
marked his progress by the crackling of the 

"I'm almost up to him," exulted the young in- 
ventor. Then, at the same moment, he caught 
sight of the man running, and a glimpse of the 
sparkling water of Lake Carlopa. "I've got him ! 
I've got him!" Tom almost cried aloud in his 
excitement. "Unless he takes to the water and 
swims for it, I've got him !" 

But Tom did not reckon on a very simple mat- 
ter, and that was the possibility of the man hav- 
ing a boat at hand. For this is just what hap- 

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pened. Reaching the lake shore the fugitive with 
a Jinal spurt managed to put considerable distance 
between himself and Tom. Drawn up on the 
beach was a little motor-boat. In this, after he 
had pushed it frtnn shore, the stranger leaped. 
It was the work of but a second to set the engine 
in motion, and as Tom reached the edge of the 
woods and started across the narrow strip of sand 
and gravel that was between the water and the 
trees, he saw the man steering his craft toward 
the middle of the lake. 

"Well — I'll — ^be — ^jiggered)" exclaimed the 
youth. "Who would have thought he'd have a 
motOT-boat waiting for himP He planned this 

There was nothing to do but tum back. Tom 
had a small rowboat and a sailing skiff on the 
lake, but his boathouse was some distance away, 
and even if he could get one of his craft out, the 
motor-boat would soon distance it. 

"He's gone !" tfiought the searcher regretfully. 

The man in the motor-boat did not look back. 
He sat in the bow, steering the little craft right 
across the broadest part of Lake Carlopa. 

"I wonder where he came from, and where he's 
going?" mused Tom. "That's a boat I never saw 
on this lake before. It must be a new one. Well, 
there's no help for it, I've got to go back and tdl 

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dad I couldn't catch him." And with a last look 
at the fugitive, who, with his boat, was becoming 
smaller and smaller every minute^ Tom turned 
and retraced his stq>s. 

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"Did you catch him, Tom ?" asked Mr. Swift 
eagerly when his son returned, but the inventor 
needed but a glance at the lad's despondent face 
to have his question answered without words. 
"Never mind," he added, "there's not much harm 
done, fortunately." 

"Did he get anything? Any of your plans or 
models, dad?" 

"No; not as far as I can discover. My papers 
in the shop were not disturbed, but it looked as 
if the turbine model had been moved. The only 
thing missing seems to be a sheet of unimportant 
calculations. Luckily I had my most valuable 
drawings in the safe in the house." 

"Yet that man seemed to be putting papers in 
his pocket, dad. Maybe he made copies of some 
of your drawings." 

"That's possible, Tom, and I admit it worries 
me. I can't imagine who that man is, unless " 

"Why, he's one of the three men I saw in 

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Mansburg in the restaurant," said Tom eagerly. 
"Two of them tried to get JnfcmnaticHi here, and 
now the third one comes. He got away in- a 
motor-boat," and Tom told how the fugitive es- 

Mr. Swift looked worried. It was not "the first 
time attempts had been made to steal his inven- 
tions, but on this occasion a desperate and well- 
organized plan appeared to be on foot. 

"What do you think th*y are up to, dadT* 
asked Tcwn. 

"I think they are trying to get hold of my tur- 
bine motor, Tom. You know I told you that 
the financiers were disappointed in the turbine 
motor they bought of another inventor. It does 
not work. To get bade the money they spent in 
building on expensive plant they must have a 
motor that is successful. Hence their efforts to 
get control of mine. I don't know whetiier I told 
you or not, but some time ago I refused a very 
good offer for certain rights in my invention. I 
knew it was worth more. The offer came through 
Smeak & Katch, the lawyers, and when I refused 
it they seenwd mifdi disafpoiated. I Aodc now 
that this satBe firm, and the fiMsactcrs who have 
emplajred Aem, are trying by all tiie means in 
their power to get pos9«8s»on of my ideas, if not 
the invention and model itseM." 

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"What can you do, dad?" 

"Well, I must think. I certainly must take 
some means to protect myself. I have had trou- 
ble before, but never any like this. I did not 
:hink those men would be so unscrupulous." 

"Do you know their names?" 

"No, only from that telegram we found; the 
one which the first stranger dropped. One of 
them must be Anson Morse. Who the others are 
I don't know. But now I must make some plans 
to foil these sharpers. I may have to call on you 
for help, Tom." 

"And I'll be ready any time you call on me, 
dad," responded Tom, drawing himself up. "Can 
I do anything for you right away ?" 

"No ; I must think out a plan." 

"TTien I am going to change my motor-cycle a 
bit. I'll put some more improvements on it." 

"And I will write some letters to my lawyers 
in Washington and ask their advice." 

It took Tom the remainder of that day, and 
part of the next, to arrange the gasolene and 
spark control of his machine to his satisfaction. 
He had to make two small levers and some con- 
necting rods. This he did in his own particular 
machine shop, which was fitted up with a lathe 
and other apparatus. The lathe was run by power 
coming from a small engine, which was operated 



by an engineer, an elderly man to whom Mr. Swift 
had given employment for many years. He was 
Garret Jackson, and he kept so close to his engine 
and boiler-room that he was seldom seen outside 
of it except when the day's work was done. 

One afternoon, a few days after the unsuccess- 
ful chase after the fugitive had taken place, Tom 
went out for a spin on his motor-cycle. He found 
that the machine worked much better, and was 
easier to control. He rode about fifteen miles 
away from home, and then returned. As he en- 
tered the yard he saw, standing on the drive, a 
ramshackle old wagon, drawn by a big mule, 
which seemed, at the time Tom observed him, to 
be asleep. 

"I'll wager that's Boomerang," said Tom aloud, 
and the mule opened its eyes, wiggled its ears and 
started forward. 

"Whoa dar. Boomerang f exclaimed a voice, 
and Eradicate Sampson hurried around the corner 
of the house. "Dat's jest laik yo'," went on the 
colored man. "Movin' when yo' ain't wanted to." 
Then, as he caught sight of Tom, he exclaimed : 
"Why, if it ain't young Mistah Swift I Good 
landy ! But dat livery brake yo' done fixed on mah 
wagon suttiniy am fine. Ah kin go down de steep* 
est hill widout ropin' de wheel." 

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"Glad of it," replied Tom. "Did you come to 
do some work?" 

"Yais, sah, I done did. I found I had some 
time t' spah, an' thinks I dere might be some 
ivhitewashin' I could do. Yo' see, I lib only 'b«ut 
two mile from heah." 

"Well, I guess you can do a few jobs," said 
Tom. "Wait here." 

He hunted up his father, and obtained permis- 
sion to set Eradicate at work cleaning out a 
chicken house and whitewashing it. The darky 
was soon at work, A little later Tom passing 
saw him putting the whitewash on thick. Eradi- 
cate stopped at the sight of Tom, and made some 
curious motions. 

"What's the matter, Rad?" asked the young 

"Why, de whitewash done persist in runnin' 
down de bresh handle an' inter mah sleeve. I'm 
soakin' wet from it now, an' I has t' stop ebery ■ 
onct in a while 'case mah sleeve gits full." 

Tom saw what the trouble was. The white 
fluid did run down the long brush handle in a 
small rivulet. Tom had once seen a little rubber 
device on a window-cleaning brush that worked 
well, and he decided to try it for Eradicate. 

"Wait a minute," Tom advised. "I think I 
can stop that for you." 

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The cdored man was very willing to take a 
rest, but it did not last long, for Tom was soon 
back at the chicken coop. He had a small rubber 
disk, with a hole in the center, the size of the 
brush handle. Slipping the disk over the wood, 
he pushed it about half way along, and then, hand- 
ing the brush back to the negro, tdd him to try 
it that way. 

"Did yo' done put a charm on mah bresh?" 
asked Eradicate somewhat doubtfully. 

"Yes, a sort of hoodoo charm. Try it now." 

The darky dipped his brush in the pail of white- 
wash, and then b^an to spread the disinfectant 
on the sides of the coop near the top. The surplus 
fluid started to run down the handle, but, meeting 
the piece of rubber, came no farther, and dripped 
off on the ground. It did not run down the sleeve 
of Eradicate. 

"Well, I 'clar t' goodness ! Dat suttinly am a 
mighty fine charm !" cried the colored man. "Yo' 
suah am a pert gen'men, all right. Now I kin 
work widout stoppin' t' empty mah sleeve ob 
lime juice dbery minute. I'se suttinly oHiged f 

"You're welcome, I'm sure," replied Tom. "I 
think some day I'll invent a machine for white- 
washing, and then -" 

"Doan't do dat! Doan't do datl" be^^ 

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Eradicate earnestly. "Dis, an' makin' dirt disap- 
pear, am de only perfessions I got Doan't go 
'ventin' no machine, Mistah Swift" 

"All right I'll wait until you get rich." 

"Ha, ha! Den yo' gwine t' wait a pow'ful long 
time," chuckled Eradicate as he went on with 
his whitewashing. 

Tom went into the house. He found his father 
busy with some papers at his desk. 

"Ah, it's you, is it, Tom ?" asked the inventor, 
looking up. "I was just wishing you would come 

"What for, dad?" 

"Well, I have quite an important mission for 
you. I want you to go on a journey." 

"A journey? Where?" 

"To Albany. You see, I've been thinking over 
matters, and I have been in correspondence with 
my lawyers in regard to my turbine motor. I 
must take measures to protect myself. You know 
I have not yet taken out a complete patent on the 
machine. I have not done so because I did not 
want to put my model on exhibition in Washing- 
ton. I was afraid some of those unscrupulous 
men would take advantage of me. Another point 
was that I had not perfected a certain device that 
goes on the motor. That objection is now re- 

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moved, and I am ready to send my model to 
Washington, and take out the complete patent" 

"But I thought you said you wanted me to go 
to Albany." 

"So I do. I will explain. I have just had a^ 
letter from Reid & Crawford, my Washington 
attorneys, Mr. Crawford, the junior member of 
the firm, will be in Albany this week on some law 
business. He agrees to receive my model and 
some papers there, and take them back to Wash- 
ington with him. In this way they will be well 
protected. You see, I have to be on my guard, 
and if I send the model to Albany, instead of the 
national capital, I may throw the plotters off the 
track, for I feel that they are watching every move 
I make. As soon as you or I should start for 
Washington they would be on our trail. But 
you can go to Albany unsuspected. Mr. Craw- 
ford will wait for you there. I want you to start 
day after to-morrow." 

"All right, dad. I can start now, if you say 

"No, there is no special need for haste. I have 
some matters to arrange. You might go to the 
station and inquire about trains to the State capi- 

"Am I going by train ?" 

"Certainly. How else could you go?" 

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There was a lode of excitement in Tom's eyes. 
He had a sudden idea. 

"Dad," he exclaimed, "why couldn't I go on my 

"Your motor-cycle?" 

"Yes. I could easily make the trip on it in 
one day. The roads are good, and I would enjoy 
it I can cairy the model back of me cm the 
saddle. It is not very large," 

"Well," said Mr. Swift slowly, for the idea was 
a new one to him, "I suppose that part would be 
all right But you have not had much experience 
riding a motor-cycle. Besides, you don't know 
the roads." 

"I can inquire. Will you let me go, dad?" 

Mr. Swift appeared to hesitate. 

"It will be fine !" went on Tom. "I would en- 
joy the trip, and there's another thing. If we 
want to keep this matter secret the best plan 
would be to let me go on my machine. If those 
men are on the watch, they will not think that I 
have the model. They will think I'm just going 
for a pleasure jaunt." 

"There's something in that," adnutted Mr. 
Swift, and Tom, seeing that his father was hr 
vorably inclined, renewed his arguments, until the 
inventor finally agreed. 

"It will be a great trip I" exclaimed Tom. "Ill 

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go all over my machine now, to see that it's in 
good shape. You get your papers and model 
ready, dad, and I'll take them to Albany for you. 
The motor-cycle will come in handy." 

But had Tom only known the dangers ahead 
of him, and the risks he was to run, he would 
not have whistled so light heartedly as he went 
over every nut and bolt on his machine. 

Two days later, the valuable model, having 
been made into a convenient package, and wrapped 
in water-proof paper, was fastened hack of the 
saddle on the motor-cycle. Tom carefully pinned 
in an inside pocket the papers which were to be 
handed to Mr. Crawford. He was to meet the 
lawyer at a hotel in Albany. 

"Now take care of yourself, Tcan," cautioned 
his father as he bade him good-by. "Don't try 
to make speed, as there is no special rush. And, 
above all, don't lose anything." 

"I'll not, dad," and with a wave of his hand to 
Mr. Swift and the housekeeper, who stood in the 
door to see him off, Tom jumped into the saddle, 
started the machine, and then, after sufficient mo- 
mentum had been attained, he turned on the gaso- 
lene and set the spark lever. With rattles and 
bangs, which were quickly subdued by the muf- 
fler, the machine gathered speed. Tom was off 
for Albany, 

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Though Tom's father had told him there was 
no necessity for any great speed, the young in- 
ventor could not resist the opportunity for push- 
ing his machine to the limit. The road was a 
level one and in good condition, so the motor- 
cycle fairly flew along. The day was pleasant, a 
warm sun shining overhead, and it was evident 
that early summer was crowding spring rather 

"This is glorious!" exclaimed Tom aloud as 
he spun along. "I'm glad I persuaded dad to 
let me take this trip. It was a great idea. Wish 
Ned Newton was along, though. He'd be com- 
pany for me, but, as Ned would say, there are 
two good reasons why he can't come. One is 
he has to work in the bank, and the other is 'Aat 
he has no motor-cycle." 

Tom swept past house after house along the 
road, heading in the opposite direction from that 

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in which lay the town of Shopton and the city of 
Mansburg. For several miles Tom's route would 
lie through a country district. The first large 
town he would reach would be Centreford. He 
planned to get lunch there, and he had brought a 
few sandwiches with him to eat along the road 
in case he became hungry before he reached the 

"I hope the package containing the model 
doesn't jar oflf," mused the lad as he reached be- 
hind to make sure that the precious bundle was 
safe. "Dad would be in a bad way if that should 
disappear. And the papers, too." He put his 
hand to his inner pocket to feel that they were 
secure. Coming to a little down-grade, Tom shut 
off some of the power, the new levers he had ar- 
ranged to control the gasolene and spark working 

"I think I'll take the old wood road and pass 
through Pompville," Tom decided, after covering 
another mile or two. He was approaching a di- 
vision in the highway. "It's a bit sandy," he 
went on, "and the going will be heavy, but it will 
be a good chance to test my machine. Besides, 
I'll save five miles, and, while I don't have to 
hurry, I may need time on the other end. I'd 
rather arrive in Albany a little before dusk than 
after dark. I can deliver the model and papers 

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and have a good night's sleep before starting 
back. So the old wood road it will be." 

The wood road, as Tom called it, was a seldom 
used highway, which, originally, was kid out for 
just what the name indicated, to bring wood 
from the forest. With the disappearance of most 
of the trees the road became more used for or- 
dinary traffic between the towns of Pompville and 
Edgefield. But when the State built a new high- 
way connecting these two places the old road fell 
into disuse, though it was several miles shorter 
than the new turnpike. 

He turned from the main thoroughfare, and 
was soon spinning along the sandy stretch, which 
was shaded with trees that in some places met 
overhead, forming a leafy arch. It was cool and 
pleasant, and Tom liked it 

"It isn't as bad as I thought," he remarked. 
"The sand is pretty thick, but this madiine of 
mine appears to be able to crawl through it" 

Indeed, the motor-cycle was doing remarkaWy 
well, but Tom found that he had to turn on full 
power, for the big rubber wheels w«it deep into 
the soft soil. Along Tom rode, picking out th«. 
firmest places in the road. He was so intent on 
this that he did not pay much attention to what 
was immediately ahead of him, knowing that he 
was not very likely to meet other vehicles or pedes- 



trians. He was considerably startled therefore 
when, as he went around a turn in the highway 
where the bushes grew thick, right down to the 
edge of the road, to see a figure emerge from the 
underbrush and start across the path. So quickly 
did the man appear that Tom was almost upon 
him in an instant, and even though the young in- 
ventor shut off the power and applied the brake, 
the front wheel hit the man and knocked him 

"What's the matter with you? What are you 
trying to do — kill me? Why don't you ring a 
bell or blow a horn when you're coming?" The 
man had sprung up from the soft sand where the 
wheel from the motor-cycle had sent him and 
faced Tom angrily. Then the rider, who had 
quickly dismounted, saw that his victim was a 
ragged tramp. 

"I'm sorry," began Tom. "You came out of 
the bushes so quickly that I didn't have a chance 
to warn you. Did I hurt you much?" 

"Well, youse might have. 'Tain't your fault 
dat youse didn't," and the tramp b^an to brush 
the dirt from his ragged coat Tom was instantly 
struck by a curious fact. The tramp in his sec- 
ond remarks used language more in keeping with 
his character, whereas, in his first surprise and 
anger, he had talked much as any other person 

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would, "Youse fellers ain't got no right t' ride 
dem machines like lightnin' along de roads," the 
ragged chap went on, and he still clung to the use 
of words and expressions current among his fra- 
ternity. Tom wondered at it, and then, ascribing 
the use of the better language to the fright caused 
by being hit by the machine, the lad thought no 
more about it at the time. There was occasion, 
however, when he attached more meaning to it. 

"I'm very sorry," went on Tom. "I'm sure I 
didn't mean to. You see, I was going quite slow- 
ly, and " 

"You call dat slow, when youse hit me an' 
knocked me down ?" demanded the tramp. "I'd 
oughter have youse arrested, dat's what, an' I 
would if dere was a cop handy," 

"I wasn't going at all fast," said Tom, a little 
nettled that his conciliatory words should be so 
rudely received. "If I had been going full speed 
I'd have knocked you fifty feet." 

"Ifs a good thing. Cracky, den I'm glad dat 
youse wasn't goin' like dat," and the tramp seemed 
somewhat confused. This time Tom looked at 
him more closely, for the change in his language 
had been very plain. The fellow seemed uneasy, 
and turned his face away. As he did so Tom 
caught a glimpse of what he was sure was a 
false beard. It was altogether too well-kept a 

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beard to be a natural one for such a dirty tramp 
as this one appeared to be. 

"That fellow's disguised I" Tom thought. "He's 
playing a part. I wonder if I'd better take chances 
'uid spring it on him that I'm on to his game?" 

Then the ragged man spoke again : 

"I s'pose it was part my fault, cully. I didn't 
know dat any guy was comin' along on one of 
dem buzz<machines, or I'd been more careful. I 
don't s'pose youse meant to upset me?" and he 
looked at Tom more boldly. This time his words 
seemed so natural, and his beard, now that Tom 
took a second look at it, so much a part of him- 
self, that the young inventor wondered if he could 
have been mistaken in his first surmise. 

"Perhaps he was once a gentleman, and has 
turned tramp because of hard luck," thought Tom. 
"That would account for him using good language 
at times. Guess I'd better keep still." Then to 
the tramp he said: "I'm sure I didn't mean to 
hit you. I admit I wasn't looking where I was 
going, but I never expected to meet any one on 

this road. I certainly didn't expect to see a " 

' He paused in some confusion. He was about 
to use the teim "tramp," and he hesitated, not 
knowing how it would be received by his victim. 

"Oh, dat's all right, cully. Call me a tramp — 
I know dat's what youse was goin' t' say. I'm 

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used t' it, I've been a hobo so many years now 
dat I don't mind. De time was when I was a 
decent chap, though. But I'm a tramp now. Say, 
youse couldn't lend me a quarter, could youse?" 

He approached closer to Tom, and looked quick- 
ly up and down the road. The highway was de- 
serted, nor was there any likelihood that any 
one would come along, Tom was somewhat ap- 
prehensive, for the tramp was a burly specimen. 
The young inventor, however, was not so much 
alarmed at the prospect of a personal encounter, 
as that he feared he mig^t be robbed, not only of 
his money, but the valuable papers and model he 
carried. Even if the tramp was content -with 
taking his money, it would mean that Tom would 
have to go back home for more, and so postpone 
his trip. 

So it was with no little alarm that he watched 
the ragged man coming nearer to him. Then a 
bright idea came into Tom's head. He quickly 
shifted his position so that he brought the heavy 
motor-cycle between the man and himself. He 
reaolved, if the tramp showed a disposition to at- 
tack him, to push the machine over on him, zaA 
Hin would give Tom a chance to attack the thief 
to better advantage. However, tiie "hobo" 
showed no evidence of wanting to resort to hig^- 



wayman methods. He paused a short distance 
frcHTi the machine, and said admiringly: 
"Dat's a pretty shebang youse has." 
"Yes, it's very fair," admitted Tom, who was 
not yet breathing easily. 
"Kin youse go far on it ?" 
"Two hundred miles a day, easily." 
"Fer cats' sake! An' I can't make dat ridin' 
on de blind baggage; but dat's 'cause I gits put 
off so much. But say, is youse goin' to let me 
have dat quarter? I need it, honest I do. I ain't 
had nuttin' t' eat in two days." 

The man's tone was whining. Surely he seemed 
like a genuine tramp, and Tom felt a little sorry 
for him. Besides, he felt that he owed him some- 
thing for the unceremonious manner in which he 
had knocked the fellow down. Tom reached his 
hand in his pocket for some change, taking care 
to keep the machine between himself and the 

"Are youse goin' far on dat rig-a-ma-jig?" 
went on the man as he looked carefully over the 

"To Albany," answered Tom, and the nKwnent. 
the words were out of his mouth he wished he 
could recall them. All his suspicions regarding 
the trairq) came back to him. But the ra^^d chap 
appeared to attach no significance to them. 

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"Albany? Dat's in Jersey, ain't it?" he asked. 

"No, it's in New York," replied Tom, and then, 
to change the subject, he pulled out a halt-dollar 
and handed it to the man. As he did so Tom 
aoticed that the tramp had tattooed on the little 
finger of his left hand a blue ring. 

"Dat's dc stuff I Youse is a reg'Iar millionaire, 
youse is!" exclaimed the tramp, and his manner 
seemed in earnest. "I'll remember youse, I will. 
What's your name, anyhow, cully?" 

"Tom Swift," replied our herc^ and again he 
wished he had not told. This time he was sure 
the tramp started and glanced at him quickly, but 
perhaps it was only his imagination. 

"Tom Swift," repeated the man musingly, and 
his tones were different from the whining ones in 
which he had asked for money. Then, as if recol- 
lecting the part he was playing, he added: "I 
s'pose dey calls youse dat because youse rides so 
quick on dat machine. But I'm certainly obliged 
to youse — ^Tom Swift, an' I hopes youse gits t' 
Albany, in Jersey, in good time." 

He turned away, and Tom was banning to 
breathe more easily when the ra^ed man, with 
a quick gesture, reached out and grabbed hold of 
the motor-cycle. He gave it such a pull that it 
was neariy torn irom. Tom's grasp. The lad was 
90 startied at the suM^ e:diibition of vindictive* 

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ness on the part of the tramp that he did not know 
what to do. Then, before he could recover him- 
self, the tramp darted into the bushes. 

"I guess Happy Harry — dat's me — has spoiled 
your ride t' Albany !" the tramp cried. "Maybe 
next time youse won't run down poor fellers on de 
road," and with that, the raffed man, shaking 
his fist at Tom, was lost to si^t in the under- 

"Wdl, if that isn't a queer end up," mused Tom. 
"He must be crazy. I hope I dcm't meet you 
again, Happy Harry, or whatever your name is. 
Gur-s I'll get out of this neighborhood." 

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Tom first made sure that the package contain- 
ing the model was still safely in place back of his 
saddle on the motor-cycle. Finding it there he 
next put his hand in his pocket to see that he had 
the papers. 

"They're all right," spoke Tom aloud. "I 
didn't know but what that chap might have 
worked a pickpocket game on me. I'm glad I 
didn't meet him after dark. Well, it's a good 
thing it's no worse. I wonder if he tried to get 
my machine away from me? Don't believe he'd 
know how to ride it if he did." 

Tom wheeled his motor-cycle to a hard side- 
path along the old road, and jumped into the sad- ' 
die. He worked the pedals preparatory to turn- 
ing on the gasolene and spark to set the motor 
in motion. As he threw forward the levers, hav- 
ing acquired what he thought was the necessary 
momentum, he was surprised that no explosion 
followed. The motor seemed "dead." 

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"That's queer," he thought, and he began to 
pedal more rapidly. "It always used to start 
easily. "Maybe it doesn't like this sandy road." 

It was hard work sending the heavy machine 
along by "leg power," and once more, when he 
had acquired what he thought was sufficient speed, 
Tom turned on the power. But no explosions fol- 
lowed, and in some alarm he jumped to the 

"Something's wrong," he said aloud. "That 
tramp must have damaged the machine when he 
yanked it so." Tom went quickly over the dif- 
ferent parts. It did not take him long to discover 
what the trouble was. One of the wires, leading 
from the batteries to the motor, which wire served 
to carry the current of electricity that exploded 
the mixture of air and gasolene, was missing. It 
had been broken off close to the battery box and 
the spark plug. 

"That's what Happy Harry did!" exclaimed 
Tom. "He pulled that wire off when he yanked 
my machine. That's what he meant by hoping 
I'd get to Albany. That fellow was no tramp' 
He was disguised, and up to some game. And 
he knows something about motor-cycles, too, or 
he never would have taken that wire. I'm stalled, 
now, for I haven't got another piece. I oug^t 

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to have brought some, ni have to push this 
machine until I get to town, or else go back home." 

The yoiHig inventor looked up and down the 
lonely road, undecided what to do. To return 
home meant that he would be delayed in gettit^ 
' to Albany, for he would lose a day. If he pushed 
on to Pompville he might be aUe to get a Ut of 
wire there. 

T(xn decided that was his best plan, and plodded 
on through the thidc sand. He had not gone 
more than a quarter of a mile, every step seeming 
harder than the preceding one, when he heard, 
from the woods close at his left hand, a gun fired. 
He jumped so that he nearly let the motor •<^cle 
fall over, for a wild idea came into his bead that 
the tramp had shot at him. With a quiddy* 
beating heart the lad looked about him. 

"I wonder if that was Happy Harry?" he 

There was a crackling in the bushes and Tom, 
wondering what he mig^t do to protect himself, 
^oc^ed toward the place whence the noise pro- 
ceeded. A moment later a hunter stepped into 
view. The man carried a gun and wore a canvas 
suit, a belt about his waist being fifled with car- 

"Hello I" he exclaimed pleasantly. Then, see- 
ing a look of alarm on the lad's face, he went «n: 

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"I hope I didn't shoot in your direction, yotsag 
man; did I?" 

"No— flo, sir," replied the youthful inveatcM', 
who had hardly recovered his composure. "I 
heard your gttn, and I imagined " 

"Did you think yon had been shot ? You must 
have a very vivid imagination, for I fired in the 

"No, I didn't exactly think that," replied Tom, 
"but I just had an encounter with an ugly tramp, 
and I feared he mig^t be using me for a target" 

"Is that so. I hadn't noticed any tramps around 
here, and I've been in these woods nearly all day. 
Did he harm you?" 

"No, not me, but my motor-cycle," and the lad 

"Pshaw I That's too bad!" exclaimed the 
hunter. "I wish I could supply you with a bit 
of wire, but I haven't any. I'm just walking 
about, trying my new gun." 

"I shouldn't think you'd find anything to shoot 
this time of year," remarked TtMn. 

"I don't expect to," answered the hunter, whc 
had introduced himself as Theodore Dimcan. 
"But I have just purchased a new gun, and I 
wanted to try it. I expect to do consideraUe 
hunting this fall, and so I'm getting ready for 

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"Do you live near here?" 

"Well, about ten miles away, on the other side 
of Lake Carlopa, but I am fond of long walks in 
the woods. If you ever get to Waterford I wish 
you'd come and see me, Mr. Swift. I have heard 
of your father." 

"I will, Mr. Duncan ; but if I don't get some- 
thing to repair my machine with I'm not likely 
to get anywhere right away." 

"Well, I wish I could help you, but I haven't 
the least ingenuity when it comes to machinery. 
Now if I could help you track down that 
tramp " 

"Oh, no, thank you, I'd rather not have any- 
thing more to do with him." 

"If I caught sight of him now," resumed the 
hunter, "I fancy I could make him halt, and, per- 
haps, give you back the wire I'm a pretty good 
shot, even if this is a new gun. I've been prac- 
ticing at improvised targets all day." 

"No; the less I have to do with him, the better 
I shall like it," answered Tom, "though I'm much 
obliged to you. I'll manage somehow until I get 
to Pompville." 

He started off again, the hunter disappearing 
in the woods, whence the sound of his gun was 
again heard. 

"He's a queer chap," murmured Tom, "but I 

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like him. Perhaps I may see him when I go to 
Waterford, if I ever da" 

Tom was destined to see the hunter again, at 
no distant time, and under strange circumstances. 
But now the lad's whole attention was taken up 
with the difficulty in which he found himself. 
Vainly musing on what object the tramp could 
have had in breaking off the wire, the young in- 
ventor trudged on. 

"I guess he was one of the gang after dad's 
invention," thought Tcmi, "and he must have 
wanted to hinder me from getting to Albany, 
though why I can't imagine." With a dubious 
shake of his head Tom proceeded. It was hard 
work pushing the heavy machine through the 
sand, and he was puffing before he had gone very 

"I certainly am up against it," he murmured. 
"But if I can get a bit of wire in Pompville I'll 
be all right. If I can't " 

Just then Tom saw something which caused 
him to utter an exclamation of delight 

"That's the very thing !" he cried. "Why didn't 
I think of it before?" 

Leaving his motor-cycle standing against a tree 
Tom hurried to a fence that separated the road 
from a field. The fence was a barbed-wire one, 
and in a moment Tom had found a broken strand. 

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"GtMss no one will care if I take a piece o{ 
this," he reasoned. "It will answer until I can 
get more. I'll have it in place in a jiflfy I" 

It did not take long to get his pliers from his 
toolbag and snip off a piece of the wire. Un- 
twisting it he took out the sharp barbs, and then 
was ready to attach it to the binding posts of the 
battery box and the spark plug. 

"Hold on, though!" he exclaimed as he paused 
in the work. "It's got to be insulated, or it will 
vibrate against the metal of the machine and 
short circuit I have it! My handkerchief! I 
s'pose Mrs. Baggert will kick at tearing up a 
good one, but I can't help it" 

Tom took a spare handkerchief from the bundle 
in which he had a few belongings carried with 
the idea of spending the night at an Albany hotel, 
and he vras soon wrapping strips of linen around 
the wire, tying them with pieces of string. 

"There!" he exclaimed at length. "That's in- 
sulated good enough, Z guess. Now to fasten it 
on and start." 

The young inventor, who was quick with tools, ' 
scon had the improvised wire in place. He tested 
the spark and found that it was almost as good 
as when the regular copper conductor was in 
place. Then, having taken a spare bit of the 
barbed-wire along in case of another emergency, 



he jumped on the motor-cycle, pedaled it until 
sufficient speed was attained, and turned on the 

"That's the stufEI" he cried as the welcome ex- 
plosions sounded. "I ^ess I've fooled Happy 
Harry I I'll get to Albany pretty nearly on time, 
anyhow. But that tramp surely had me worried 
for a while." 

He rode into Pompville, and on inquiring in a 
plumbing shop managed to get a bit of copper 
wire that answered better than did the galvanized 
piece from the fence. The readjustment was 
quickly made, and he was on his way again. As 
it was getting close to noon he stopped near a 
little spring outside of Pompville and ate a sand- 
wich, washing it down with the cold water. Then 
he started for Centreford. 

As he was coming into the city he heard an 
automobile behind him. He steered to one side 
of the road to give the big car plenty of room to 
pass, but it did not come on as speedily as he 
thought it would. He looked back and saw that 
it was going to stop near him. Accordingly he 
shut off the power of his machine. 

"Is this the road to Centreford?" asked one of 
the travelers in the auto. 

"Straight ahead," answered the lad. 

At the sound of his voice one of the men in 

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the big touring car leaned forward and whispered 
something to one on the front seat. The second 
man nodded, and looked closely at Tom. The 
youth, in turn, stared at the men. He could not 
distinguish their faces, as they had on auto gog-v 

"How many miles is it?" asked the man who 
had whispered, and at the sound of his voice Tom 
felt a vague sense that he had heard it before. 

"Three," answered the young inventor, and 
once more he saw the men whisper among them- 

"Thanks," spoke the driver of the car, and 
he threw in the gears. As the big machine darted 
ahead the goggles which one of the men wore 
slipped off. Tom had a glimpse of his face. 

"Anson Morse !" he exclaimed. "If that isn't 
the man who was sneaking around dad's motor 
shop he's his twin brother! I wonder if those 
aren't the men who are after the patent model? 
I must be on my guard !" and Tom, watching the 
car fade out of sight on the road ahead of him, 
slowly started his m^otor-cycle. He was much 
puzzled and alarmed. 

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The more Tom tried to reason out the cause 
of the men's actions, the more he dwelt upon his 
encounter with the tramp, and the harder he en- 
deavored to seek a solution of the queer puzzle^ 
the more complicated it seemed. He rode oa 
until he saw in a valley below him the buildings 
of the town of Centreford, and, with a view ol 
them, a new idea came into his mind. 

"I'll go get a good dinner," he decided, "and 
perhaps that will help me to think more clearly. 
That's what dad always does when he's puzzling 
over an invention," He "was soon seated in a 
restaurant, where he ate a substantial dinner. 
"I'm just going to stop puzzling over this matter,'* 
he decided. "I'll push mi to Albany and tell the 
lawyer, Mr. Crawford. Perhaps he can advise 

Once this decision was made Tom felt better. 

"That's just what I needed," he thought; "some 

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one to shift the responsibility upon. I'll let the 
lawyers do the worrying'. That's what they're 
paid for. Now for Albany, and I hope I don'C 
have to stop, except for supper, until I get there. 
I've got to do some night riding, but I've got a 
powerful lamp, and the roads from now on are 

Tom was soon on his way again. The highway 
leading to Albany was a hard, macadam one, and 
he fairly flew along the level stretches. 

"This is making good time," he thought "I 
won't be so very late, after all ; that is, if nothing 
delays me." 

The young inventor looked up into the sky. 
Tlie sun, which had been shining brightly all day, 
WZ3 now hidden behind a mass of hazy clouds, for 
which the rider was duly grateful, as it was be- 
coming quite warm. 

"It's more like summer than I thought," said 
Torn to himself. "I shouldn't be surprised if we 
got rain to-morrow." 

Another look at the sky confirmed him in this 
belief, and he had not gone on many miles farther 
when his opinion was suddenly changed. Thi: 
was brought about by a dull rumble in the west, 
and Tom noticed that a bank of low-lying clouds 
had formed, the black, inky masses of vapor being 
whirled upward as if by some powerful blast 

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"Guess my storm is golt^ to arrive ahead of 
time," he said. "I'd better look for shelter." 

With a suddenness that characterizes summer 
showers, the whole sky became overcast The 
thunder increased, and the flashes of lightning 
became more frequent and dazzling. A wind 
sprang up and blew clouds of dust in Tom's face. 

"It certainly is going to be a thunder storm,'* 
he admitted. "I'm bound to be delayed now, for 
the roads will be mucky. Well, there's no help 
for it. If I get to Albany before midnight I'll be 
doing well." 

A few drops of rain splashed on his hands, and 
as he looked up to note the state of the sky others 
fell in his facx. They were big drops, and where 
they splashed on the road they formed little glob- 
ules of mud. 

"I'll head for that big tree," thought Tom. "It 

will give me some shelter. Ill wait there '* 

His words were interrupted by a deafening crash 
of thunder which fdlowed close after a blinding 
flash, "No tree for mine I" murmured Tom. "I 
for^t that they're dangerous in a storm. I won- 
der where I can stay?" 

He turned on all the power possiUe and sprint- 
ed ahead. Around a curve in the road he went, 
leaning over to preserve his balanccv And just as 
tiie rain came pelting down in a torrent he saw 

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just ahead of him a white churdi on the lonely 
country road. To one side was a long shed, where 
the farmers were in the habit of leaving their 
teams when they came to service. 

"Just the thing I" cried the boy; "and just in 
time I" 

He turned his motor-cycle into the yard sur- 
rounding the church, and a moment later had 
come to a stop beneath the shed. It was brotd 
and long, furnishing a good protection against the 
storm, which had now burst in all its fury. 

Tom was not very wet, and looking to see thai 
the model, which was partly of wood, had suf- 
fered no damage, the lad gave his attention to his 

"Seems to he all rig^t," he murmured. "I'll 
just oil her up while I'm waiting. This can't last 
long; it's raining too hard." 

He busied himself over the motor-cycle, ad- 
justing a nut that had been rattled loose, and 
putting some oil on the bearings. The rain kept 
up steadily, and when he had completed his at- 
tentions to his machine Tom looked out from^ 
under the protection of the shed. 

"It certainly is coming down for keeps," be 
murmured. "This trip is a regular hoodoo SO 
far. Hope I have it better coming back." 

As he lodced down the road he espied an au- 

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tomobile coming through the mist of rain. It 
was an open car, and as he saw the three men 
in it huddled up under the insufficient protection 
of some blankets, Tom said : 

"They'd ought to come in here. There's lot" 
of room. Maybe they don't see it. I'll call to 

The car was almost opposite the shed which 
was close to the roadside. Tom was about to 
call when one of the men in the auto looked up. 
He saw the shelter and spdce to the chauffeur. 
The latter was preparing to steer up into the shed 
when the two men on the rear seat caught sight 
of Tcsn. 

"Why, that's the same car that passed me a 
while ago," said the young inventor half aloud. 
"The one that contained those men whom I sus- 
pected might be after dad's patent I hope 
they " 

He did not finish his sentence, for at that in- 
stant the chauffeur quickly swung the machine 
around and headed it back into the road. Clearly 
the men were not going to take advantage of the 
shelter of the shed. 

"That's mighty strange," murmured Tom. 
"They certainly saw me, and as soon as they did 
they turned away. Can they be afraid of me?" 

H* went to the edge of the shelter and peered 

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out The auto had disappeared the road 
behind a veil of rain, and, shaking his head over 
the strange occurrence, Tom went back to where 
he had left his motor-cycle. 

"Things are getting more and more muddled," 
he said. "I'm sure those were the same men, 
and yet " 

He shrugged his shoulders. The puzzle was 
getting beyond him. 




Steadily the rain came down, the wind driv- 
ing it under the shed until Tom was hard put to 
find a place where the drops would not reach him. 
He withdrew into a far comer, taking his motor- 
cycle with him, and then, sitting on a block of 
wood, under the rough mangers where the horses 
were fed while the farmers attended church, the 
lad thought over the situation. He could make 
little of it, and the more he tried the worse it 
seemed to become. He looked out across the wet 

"I wonder if this is ever going to stop?" he 
mused. "It locrfcs as if it was in for an all-day 
pour, yet we ought only to have a summer shower, 
by rights. 

"But then I guess what I think about it won't 
influence the weather man a bit. I might as well 
make myself comfortable, for I can't do anything. 
Let's see. If I get to Fordham by six o'clock 

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I ought to be able to make Albany by nine, as it's 
only forty miles. I'll get supper in Fordham, and 
push on. That is, I will if the rain stops." 

That was the most necessary matter to have 
lappen first, and Tom arising from his seat 
strolled over to the front of the shed to look out. 

"I believe it is getting lighter in the west," he 
told himself. "Yes, the clouds are lifting. It's 
going to clear. It's only a summer shower, after 

But just as he said that there came a sudden 
squall of wind and rain, fiercer than any which 
had preceded. Tom was driven back to his seat 
on the log. It was quite chilly now, and he no- 
ticed that near where he sat there was a big open- 
ing in the rear of the shed, where a couple of 
boards were off. 

"This must be a draughty place in winter," he 
observed. "If I could find a drier spot I'd sit 
there, but this seems to be the best," an(J he re- 
mained there, musing on many things. Sudden- 
ly in the midst of his thoughts he imagined he 
heard the sound of an automobile approaching, 
"I wonder if those men are coming back here?" 
he exclaimed. "If they are " 

The youth again arose, and went to the front 
of the shed. He could see nothing, and came back 
to escape the rain. There was no doubt but that 

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the shower would soon be over, and locrfcing at his 
watch, Tom began to calculate when he might 
arrive in Albany. 

He was busy trying to figure out the best plan 
to pursue, and was hardly conscious of his sur- 
roundings. Seated on the Ic^, with his back to 
the opening in the shed, the young inventor could 
not see a figure stealthily creeping up through the 
wet grass. Nor could he see an automobile, which 
had come to a stop back of the horse shelter — an 
automobile containing two rain-soaked men, who 
were anxiously watching the one stealing through 
the grass. 

Tom put his watch back into his pocket and 
looked out into the storm. It was almost over. 
The sun was trying to shine through the clouds, 
and only a few drops were falling. The youth 
stretched with a yawn, for he was tired of sitting 
still. At the moment when he raised his arms to 
relieve his muscles something was thrust through 
the opening behind him. It was a long club, and 
an instant later it descended on the lad's head. 
He went down in a heap, limp and motionless. 

Through the opening leaped a man. He bent 
over Tom, looked anxiously at him, and then, 
stepping to the place where the boards were off 
the shed, he motioned to the men in the autmno- 

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bile. They hurried from the machine, and were 
soon beside their companion. 

"I knocked him out, all right," observed the 
man who had reached through and dealt Tom the 
blow with the club. 

"Knocked him out! I should say you did, 
Featherton!" exclaimed one who appeared better 
dressed than the others. "Have you killed him?" 

"No; but I wish you wouldn't mention my 
name, Mr. Appleson. I — I don't like " 

"Nonsense, Featherton. No one can hear us. 
But Fm afraid you've done for the chap. I didn't 
want him harmed," 

"Oh, I guess Featherton knows how to do it, 
Appleson," commented the third man, "He's had 
experience that way, eh, Featherton?" 

"Yes, Mr. Morse ; but if you please I wish you 
wouldn't mention " 

'All right, Featherton, I know what you mean," 
rejoined the man addressed as Morse. "Now let's 
see if we have drawn a blank or not. I think he 
has with him the very thing we want." 

"Doesn't seem to be about his person," ob- 
served Appleson, as he carefully felt about the 
clothing of the unfortunate Tom. 

"Very likely not. It's too bulky. But there's 
his motor-tycle over there. It looks as if what we 



wanted was on the back of the saddle. Jove, 
Featherton, but I think he's coming to!" 

Tom stirred uneasily and moved his arms, while 
a moan came from between his parted lips. 

"I've got some stuff that will fix him!" ex- 
claimed the man addressed as Featherton, and 
who had been operating the automoWle. He todt 
something from his pocket and leaned over Tom. 
In a moment the young inventor was still again. 

"Quick now, see if it's there," directed Morse, 
and Appleson hurried over to the machine. 

"Here it is!" he called. "I'll take it to our 
car, and we can get away." 

"Are you going to leave him here like this?" 
asked Morse. 

"Yes; why not?" 

"Because some one might have seen him come 
in here, and also remember that we, too, came in 
this direction." 

"What would you do?" 

"Take him down the road a way and leave him. 
We can find some shed near a farmhouse where 
he and his machine will be out of sight until we 
get far enough away. Besides, I don't like to 
leave him so far from help, unconscious as he 

"Oh, you're getting chicken-hearted," said 
Appleson with a sneer. "However, have your 

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way about it. I wonder what has become of Jake 
Burke? He was to meet us in Centreford, but 
he did not show up," 

"Oh, I shouldn't be surprised if he had trouble 
in that tramp rig he insisted cm adopting. I told 
him he was running a risk, but he said he had 
masqueraded as a tramp before." 

"So he has. He's pretty good at it Now, 
Simpson, if you will " 

"Not Simpson! I thought you agreed to call 
me Featherton," interrupted the chauffeur, turn- 
ing to Morse and Appleson. 

"Oh, so we did. I forgot that this lad met us 
one day, and heard me call you Simpson," ad- 
mitted Morse. "Well, Featherton it shall be. But 
we haven't much time. It's stopped raining, and 
the roads will soon be well traveled. We must 
get away, and if we are to take the lad and his 
machine to some secluded place, we'd better be 
at it No use waiting for Burke. He can look 
out after himself. Anyhow, we have the model 
now, and there's no use in him hanging around 
Swift's shc^, as he intended to do, waiting for a 
chance to sneak in after it. Appleson, if you and 
Simpson — I mean Featherton — will carry young 
Swift, I'll shove his wheel along to the auto, and 
we can put it and him in." 

The two men, first looking through the hole 

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In the shed to make sure they were not observed, 
went out, carrying Tom, who was no light load- 
Morse folbwed them, pushing the motor-cycle, 
and carrying under one arm the bundle containing 
the valuable model, which he had detached. 

"I think this is the time we get ahead of Mr. 
Swift," murmured Morse, pulling his black mus- 
tache, when he and his companions had reached 
the car in the field. "We have just what we want 

"Yes, but we had hard enough work getting 
it," observed Applesoa "Only by luck we saw 
this lad come in here, or we would have had to 
chase all over for him, and maybe then we would 
have missed him. Hurry, Simpson — I mean 
Featherton. It's getting lat^ and we've got lots 
to do." 

The chauffeur sprang to his seat, Appleson 
taking his place beside him. The motor-cycle was 
tied on behind the big touring car, and with the 
unconscious form of Tom in the tonneau, beside 
Morse, who stroked his mustache nervously, the 
auto started off. The storm had passed, and the 
sun was shining brightly, but Tom could not 
see it 

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Several hours later Tom had a curious dream. 
He imagined he was wandering about in the polar 
regions, and that it was very cold. He was try- 
ing to reason with himself that he could not pos- 
sibly be on an expedition searching for the North 
Pole, still he felt such a keen wind blowing over 
his scantily-covered body that he shivered. He 
shivered so hard, in fact, that he shivered himself 
awake, and when he tried to pierce the darkness 
that enveloped him he was startled, for a moment, 
with the idea that perhaps, after all, he had wan- 
dered off to some unknown country. 

For it was quite dark and cold. He was in 
a daze, and there was a curious smell about him 
—an odor that he tried to recall. Then, all at 
once, it came to him what it was — chloroform 
Once his father had undergone an operation, and 
to deaden his pain chloroform had been used. 

"I've been chloroformed !" exclaimed the young 
inventor, and his words sounded strange in bis 


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ears. "That's it. I've met with an accident — 
riding my motor-cycle. I must have hit my head, 
for it hurts fearful. They picked me up, carried 
me to a hospital and have operated on me. I 
vender if they took off an arm or leg? I won- 
der what hospital I'm in ? Why is it so dark and 

As he asked himself these questions his brain 
gradually cleared from the haze caused by the 
cowardly blow, and from the chloroform that 
had been administered ty Featherton. 

Tom's first act was to feel first of one arm, 
then the other. Having satisfied himself that 
neither of these members were mutilated he 
reached down to his legs. 

"Why, they're all right, too," he murmured. "I 
wonder what they did to me? That's certainly 
chloroform I smell, and my head feels as if some 
one had sat on it I wonder " 

Quickly he put up his hands to his head. There 
appeared to be nothing the matter with it, save 
that there was quite a lump on the back, where 
the club had struck. 

"I seem to be all here," went on Tom, much 
mystified. "But where am I ? That's the ques- 
tion. It's a funny hospital, so cold and dark " 

Just then his hands came in contact with the 
cold ground on which he was lying. 

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"Why, I'm outdoors !" he exclaimed. Then in 
a flash it all came back to him — ^how he had gone 
ID wait under the church shed until the ratn was 

"I fell asleep, and now it's night," the youth 
went on. "No wonder I am sore and stiff. And 

ihat chloroform " He could not account for 

that, and he paused, puzzled once more. Then he 
Etniggled to a sitting position. His head was 
strangely dizzy, but he persisted, and got to his 
feet. He could see nothing, and groped around 
jn the dark, until he thought to strike a match. 
Fortunately Ije had a number in his pocket As 
the little flame flared up Tom started in surprise. 

"This isn't the church shedl" he exclaimed. 
It's much smaller] I'm in a different place! Great 
Scott! but what has happened to me?" 

The match burned Tom's fingers and he 
dropped it. The darkness closed in once more, 
but Tom was used to it by this time, and looking 
ahead of him he could make out that the shed 
was an open one, similar to the one where he had 
taken shelter. He could see the sky studded with 
stars, and could feel the cold night wind blowing 

"My motor-cycle!" he exclaimed in alarm. 
"The model of dad's invention— the papers !" 

Our hero thrust his hand into his pocket. The 

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papers were gone ! Hurriedly he lighted another 
match. It took but an instant to glance rapidly 
about the small shed. His machine was not in 

Tom felt his heart sink. After all his precau- 
tions he had been robbed. The precious model 
was gone, and it had been his proposition to take 
it to Albany in this manner. What would his 
father say? 

The lad lighted match after match, and made 
a rapid tour of the shed. The motor-cycle was not 
to be seen. But what puzzled Tom more than 
anything else was how he had been brought from 
the church shed to the one where he had awakened 
from his stupor. 

"Let me try to think," said the boy, speaking 
aloud, for it seemed to help him. "The last I 
remember is seeing that automobile, with those 
mysterious men in, approaching. Then it disap- 
peared in the rain. I thought I heard it again, 
but I couldn't see it, I was sitting on the log, 
and — and — well, that's all I can remember. I 
wonder if those men " 

The young inventor paused. Like a flash it 
came 10 him that the men were responsible for 
his predicament. They had somehow made him 
insensible, stolen his motor-cycle, the papers and 
the model, and then brought him to this pb«<^ 

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wherever it was. Tom was a shrewd reasoner, 
and he soon evolved a theory which he afterward 
learned was the correct one. He reasoned out 
almost every step in the crime of which he was 
the victim, and at last came to the conclusion that 
the men had stolen up behind the shed and at- 
tacked him. 

"Now, the next question to settle," spoke Tom, 
"is to learn where I am. How far did those 
scoundrels carry me, and what has become of 
my motor-cycle ?" 

He walked toward the point of the shed where 
he could observe the stars gleaming, and there 
he lifted some more matches, hoping he might 
see his machine. By the gleam of the little flame 
he noted that he was in a farmyard, and he was 
just puzzling his brain over the question as to 
what city or town he might be near when he heard 
a voice shouting: 

"Here, what you lightin' them matches for? 
You want to set the place afire? Who be you, 
anyhow — ^a tramp?" 

It was unmistakably the voice of a farmer, and 
Tom could hear footsteps approaching on the run. 

"Who be you, anyhow?" the voice repeated. 
"I'll have the constable after you in a jiffy if 
you're a tramp." 




"I'm not a tramp," called Tom prtMnptly. "I've 
met with an accident. Where am I ?" 

"Humph! Mighty fumiy if you don't know 
where you are," commented the farmer. "Jed, 
'bring a lantern until I take a look at who this is." 

"All right, pop," answered another voice, and 
a moment later Tom saw a tall man standing tn 
front of him. 

"I'll give you a look at me without waiting for 
the lantern," said Tom quickly, and he struck a 
match, holding it so that the gleam fell upon his 

"Salt mackerel ! It's a young feller I" exclaimed 
the farmer, "Who be you, anyhow, and what 
you doin' here ?" 

"That's just what I would like to know," said 
Tom, passing his hand over his head, which was 
still paining him. "Am I near Albany? That's 
where I started for this morning," 

"Albany? You're a good way from Albany," 
replied the farmer, "You're in the villain of 

"How far is that from Centreford ?" 

"About seventy miles." 

"As far as that?" cried Tom, "They muit 
have carried me a good way in their automobile," 

"Was you in that automobile?" demanded the 

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"Which one?" asked Tom quickly, 

"The one that stopped down the road just be- 
fore supper. I see it, but I didn't pay no atten- 
tion to it. If I'd 'a' knowed you fell out, though, 
I'd 'a' come to help you." 

"I didn't fall out, Mr.^-er " Tom paused. 

"Blackford is my name; Amos Blackford." 

"Well, Mr. Blackford, I didn't fall out. I was 
drugged and brought here." 

"Drugged! Salt mackerel! But there's been 
a crime committed, then. Jed, hurry up with that 
lantern an' git your deputy sheriff's badge on. 
There's been druggin' an' all sorts of crimes com- 
mitted. I've caught one of the victims. Hurry 
up! My son's a deputy sheriff," he added, by 
way of an explanation. 

"Then I hope he can help me catch the scoun- 
drels who robbed me," said Tom. 

"Robbed you, did they ? Hurry up, Jed. 
There's been a robbery ! We'll rouse the neigh- 
borhood an' search for the villains. Hurry up, 

"I'd rather find my motor-cycle, and a valuable 
model which was on it, than locate those men," 
went on Tom. "They also took some papers 
from me." 

Then he told how he had started for Albany, 
sdding his theory of how he had been attacked and 

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carried away in the auto. The latter part of it 
was borne out by the testimcmy of Mr, Black- 

"What I know about it," said the farmer, when 
his son Jed had arrived on the scene with a tan-j 
tern and his badge, "is that jest about supper time 
I saw an automobile stop down the road a bit 
It was gittin' dusk, an' I saw some men git out 
I didn't pay no attention to them, 'cause I was 
busy about the milkin'. The next I knowed I 
seen some one strikin' matches in my wagon shed, 
an' I come out to see what it was." 

"The men must have brought me all the way 
from the church shed near Centreford to here," 
declared Tom. "Then they lifted me out and put 
me in your shed. Maybe they left my motor- 
cycle also." 

"I didn't see nothin' like that," said the fanner. 
"Is that what you call one of them two-wheeled 
lickity-split things that a man sits on the middle 
of an' goes like chain-lightning?" 

"It is," said Ton. "I wish you'd help me look 
for it." 

The farmer and his son agreed, and other lan^ 
terns having been secured, a search was made.V 
After about half an hour the motor-cycle was dis- 
covered in some bushes at the side of the road, 
near where the automobile had stopped. But the 

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model was missing frcHii it, and a careful search 
near where tiie machine had been hidden did not 
reveal it Nor did as careful a hunt as thejr could 
ineke in the daricness disclose any clues to the 
■coundrels who bad dni^;ed and robbed Tom. 

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"We've got to organize a regular searcliin' 
party," declared Jed Blackford, after he and his 
father, together with Tom and the farmer's hired 
man, had searched up and down the road by the 
light of lanterns. "We'll organize a posse an' 
have a regular hunt. This is the worst crime 
that's been committed in this deestrict in many 
years, an' I'm goin' to run the scoundrels to 

"Don't be talkin' nonsense, Jed," interrupted his 
father. "You won't catch them fellers in a hun- 
dred years. They're miles an' miles away from 
here by this time in their automobile. All you can 
do is to notify the sheriff. I guess we'd better 
give this young man some attention. Let's see, 
you said your name was Quick, didn't you?" 

"No, but it's very similar," answered Tom with 
a smile. "It's Swift." 

"I knowed it was .something had to do widj 

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Speed," went on Mr. Blackford. "Wa'al, now, 
s'pose you come in the house an' have a hot cup of 
tea. You look sort of draggled out." 

Tom was glad enough to avail himself of the 
kind invitation, and he was soon in the comforta- 
ble kitchen, relating his story, with more detail, 
to the farmer and his family. Mrs. Blackford 
applied some home-made remedies to the lump 
on the youth's head, and it felt much better. 

"I'd like to take a look at my motor-cycle," he 
said, after his second cup of tea. "I want, to see 
if those men damaged it any. If they have I'm 
going to have trouble getting back home to tell 
my father of my bad luck. Poor dad ! He will 
be very much worried when I tell him the model 
and his patent papers have been stolen." 

"It's too bad !" exclaimed Mrs. Blackford. "I 
wish I had hold of them scoundrels!" and her 
usually gentle face bore a severe frown. "Of 
course you can have your thing-a-ma-bob in to 
see if it's hurt, but please don't start it in here. 
IThey make a terrible racket" 

"No, I'll look it over in the woodshed," prom- 
ised Tom. "If it's all right I think I'll start back 
home at once." 

"No, you can't do that," declared Mr. Black- 
ford. "You're in no condition to travel. You 
might fall ofiE an' git hurt. It's nearly ten o'clock 

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now. You jest stay here all night, an' in the 
momin', if you feel all right, you can start off. 
I couldn't let you go to-night." 

Indeed, Tom did not feel very much like un- 
dertaking the journey, for the blow on his head 
had made hipi daZed, and the chloroform caused ' 
a sick feeling. Mr. Blackford wheeled the motor- 
cycle into the woodhouse, which opened from the 
kitchen, and there the youth went over the ma- 
chine. He was glad to find that it had sustained 
no damage. In the meanwhile Jed had gone off 
to tell the startling news to near-by farmers. 
Quite a throng, with lanterns, went up and down 
the road, bat all the evidence they could find were 
the marks of the automobile wheels, which clues 
were not very satisfactory. 

"But we'll catch them in the momin'," declared 
the deputy sheriff. "I'll know that automobile 
again if I see it. It was painted red." 

"That's the color of a number of automobiles," 
said Tom with a smile. "I'm afraid you'll have 
trouble identifying it by that means. I am sur- 
prised, though, that they did not carry my motor- 
cycle away with them. It is a valuable machine." 

"They were afraid to," declared Jed. "It 
would look queer to see a machine like that in an 
auto. Of course when they were going along 
country roads in the evening it didn't much mat- 

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ter, but when they headed for the city, as they 
probably did, they knew it would attract suspicion 
to 'em. I know, for I've been a deputy sheriff 
.'most a year," 

"I believe you're right," agreed Tom. "They 
didn't dare take the motor-cycle with them, but 
they hid it, hoping I would not find it. I'd rather 
have the model and the papers, though, than half a 
dozen motor-cycles." 

"Maybe the pcJice will help you find them," said 
Mrs. Blackford. "Jed, you must telephone to the 
police the first thing in the morning. It's a shame 
the way criminals are allowed to go on. If hon- 
est people did those things, they'd be arrested in 
a minute, but it seems that scoundrels can do as 
they please." 

"You wait; I'll catch 'em!" declared Jed confi- 
dently. "I'll organize another posse in the mom- 

"Well, I know one thing, and that is that the 
place for this young man is in bed!" exclaimed 
motherly Mrs. Blackford, and she insisted on 
{Tom retiring. He was somewhat restless at first, 
and the thought of the loss of the model and the 
papers preyed on his mind. Then, utterly ex- 
hausted, he sank into a heavy slumber, and did 
not awaken until the sun was shining in his win- 
dow the next morning. A good breakfast made 

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him feci somewhat better, and he was more !ifce 
the resourceful Tom Swift of old when he went 
to get his motor-cycle in shape for the ride back 
to Shopton. 

"Well, I hope you find those criminals," said 
Mr. Blackford, as he watched Tom oiling the 
machine. "If you're ever out this way again, stop 
off and see us." 

"Yes, do," urged Mrs. Blackford, who was 
getting ready to chum. Her husband looked at 
the old-fashioned barrel and dasher arrangement, 
which she was filling with cream. 

"What's the matter with the new chum?" he 
asked in some surprise. 

"It's broken," she replied. "It's always the way 
with those new-fangled things. It works ever so 
much nicer than this old one, though," she went 
on to T<Mn, "but it gets out of order easy." 

"Let me look at it," suggested the young in- 
ventor. "I know something about machinery." 

The chum, which worked by a system of cogs 
and a handle, was brought from the woodshed. 
Tom soon saw what the trouUe was. One of the 
cogs had become displaced. It did not take him 
five minutes, with the tools he carried on his 
motor-cycle, to put it back, and the chum was 
ready to use. 

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"Well, I declare!" exclaimed Mrs. Blackford. 
"You are handy at such things !" 

"Oh, it's just a knack," replied Tom modestly. 
"Now I'll put a plug in there, and the cog wheel 
won't come loose again. The manufacturers of 
it ought to have done that. I imagine lots of 
people have this same trouWe with these chnms." 

"Indeed they do," asserted Mrs. Blackford. 
"Sallie Armstrong has one, and it got out of order 
the first week they had it. I'll let her look at mine, 
and maybe her husband can fix it." 

"I'd go and do it myself, but I want to get 
home," said Tom, and then he showed her how, 
by inserting a small iron plug in a certain place, 
there would be no danger of the cog coming loose 

"That's certainly slick!" exclaimed Mr. Black- 
ford. "Well, I wish you good luck, Mr. Swift, 
and if I see those scoundrels around this neigh- 
borhood again I'll make 'em wish they'd let you 

"That's what," added Jed, polishing his badge 
with his big, red handkerchief. 
^ Mrs. Blackford transferred the cream to the 
new churn which Tom had fixed, and as he rode 
off down the highway on his motor-cycle, she 
waved one hand to him, while with the other she 
operated the handle of the apparatus. 

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"Now for a quick run to Shopton to tell dad 
the bad news," spdte Tom to himself as he turned 
on full speed and dashed away. "My trip has 
been a failure s/r far." 

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Tom was thinking of many things as his speedy 
machine carried him mile after mile nearer home. 
By noon he was over half way on his journey, 
and he stopped in a small village for his dinner. 

"I think I'll make inquiries of the police here, 
to see if they caught sight of those men," decided 
Tom as he left the restaurant. "Though I am 
inclined to believe they kept on to Albany, or 
some large city, where they have their headquar- 
ters. They will want to make use of dad's model 
as soon as possible, though what they will do with 
it I don't know." He tried to telephone to his 
father, but could get no connection, as the wire 
was being repaired. 

The police force of the place where Tom had[ 
stopped for lunch was like the town itself — small 
and not of much consequence. The chief consta- 
ble, for he was not what one could call a chief 
of police, had heard of the matter from the alarm 

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sent out in all directions from Dunkirk, where Mr. 
Blackford lived. 

"You don't mean to tell me you're the young 
man who was chloroformed and robbed!" ex- 
claimed the constable, looking at Tom as if he 
doubted his word. 

"I'm the young man," declared our hera 
"Have you seen anything of the thieves?" 

"Not a thing, though I've instructed all my men 
to keep a sharp lookout for a red automobile, with 
three scoundrels in it. My men are to make an 
arrest on sight." 

"How many men have you?" 

"Two," was the rather surprising answer ; "but 
one has to work mi a farm da}'time3, so I ain't 
really got but one in what you might call active 

Tom restrained a desire to laugh. At any rate, 
the aged constable meant well. 

"One of my men seen a red automobile, a little 
while before you come in my office," went on the 
official, "but it wasn't the one wanted, 'cause a 
young woman was running it all alone. It strudc 
me as rather curious that a woman would trust 
herself all alone in one of them things ; wouldn't 
it you ?" 

"Oh, no, women and young ladies often operate 
them," said Tom. 

D,s,i,7ertb^ Google 


"I should think you'd handier than the 
two-wheeled apparatus you have out there," went 
on the constable, indicating the motor-cycle, which 
Tom had stood up against a tree. 

"I may have one some day," replied the young 
inventor. "But I guess I'll be moving on now. 
Here's my address, in case you hear anything of 
those men, but I don't imagine you will." 

"Me either. Fellows as slick as them are won't 
come back this way and run the chance of being 
arrested by my men. I have two on duty nights," 
he went on proudly, "besides myself, so you see 
we're pretty well protected." 

Tom thanked him for the trouble he had taken, 
and was soon on his way again. He swept on 
along the quiet country roads anxious for the 
time when he could consult with his father over 
what would be the best course to take. 

When Tom was about a mile away from his 
house he saw in the road ahead of him a rickety 
old wagon, and a second glance at it told him 
the outfit belonged to Eradicate Sampson, for 
the animal drawing the vehicle was none other 
than the mule. Boomerang. 

"But what in the world is Rad up to ?" mused 
Tom, for the colored man was out of the wagon 
and was going up and down in the grass at the 



side of the highway in a curious fashion. "I 
guess he's lost something," decided Tom. 

When he got nearer he saw what Eradicate 
was doing. The colored man was pushing a lawn- 
mower slowly to and fro in the tall, rank grass 
that grew beside the thoroughfare, and at the 
sound of Tom's motor-cycle the negro looked 
up. There was such a woe-begone expression on 
his face that Tom at once stopped his machine 
and got off. 

"What's the matter, Rad?" T«n asked. 

"Mattah, Mistah Swift? Why, dere's a pow*- 
ful lot de mattah, an' dat's de truff. I'se been 
swindled, dat's what I has." 

"Swindled? How?" 

"Well, it's dis-a-way. Yo' see dis yeah lawn- 
moah ?" 

"Yes; it doesn't seem to work," and Tom 
glanced critically at it. As Eradicate pushed it 
slowly to and fro, the blades did not revolve, and 
the wheels slipped along on the grass. 

"No, sah, it doan't work, an' dat's how I've 
been swindled, Mistah Swift Yo' see, I done 
traded mah ole grindstone off for dis yeah lawn- 
moah, an' I got stuck," 

"What, that old grindstone that was broken in 
two, and that you fastened together with con- 
crete?" asked Tom, for he had seen the outfit 

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with which Eradicate, in spare times between 
cleaning and whitewashing, had gone about the 
country, sharpening knives and scissors. "You 
don't mean that old, broken one?" 

"Dat's what I mean, Mistah Swift. Why, it 
was all right. I mended it so dat de break 
wouldn't show, an' it would sharpen things if yo' 
run it slow. But dis yeah lawn-moah won't wuk 
slow ner fast." 

"I guess it was an even exchange, then," went 
on Tom. "You didn't get bitten any worse than 
the other fellow did." 

"Yo' doan't s'pose yo* kin fix dis yeah moah 
so's I kin use it, does yo', Mistah Swift?" asked 
Eradicate, not bothering to go into the ethics of 
the matter. "I reckon now with summah comin' 
on I kin make mo' with a lawn-moah than I Idn 
with a grindstone — dat is, ef I kin git it to wuk. 
I jest got it a while ago an' decided to try it, but 
it won't cut no grass." 

"I haven't much time," said Tom, "for I'm 
anxious to get home, but I'll take a look at it." 

Tora leaned his motor-cycle against the fenct 
He could no more pass a bit of broken machinery, 
which he thought he could mend, than some men 
and boys can pass by a baseball game without 
stopping to watch it, no matter how pressed they 
are for time. It was Tom's hobby, and he dt- 



lighted in nothing so much as tinkering with ma- 
chines, from lawn-mowers to steam engines. 

Tom took hold of the handle, which Eradicate 
gladly relinquished to him, and bis trained touch 
tc^d him at once what was the trouble. 

"Some one has had the wheels off and put them 
on wrong, Rad," he said. "The ratchet and pawl 
are reversed. This mower would work back- 
wards, if that were possible." 

"Am dat so, Mistah Swift?" 

"That's it. All I have to do is to take off the 
wheels and reverse the pawl." 

"I — I didn't know mah lawn-moah was named 
Paul," said the colored maa "Is it writ on it 
anywhere?" , 

"No, it's not the kind of Paul you mean," said 
Tom with a laugh. "It's spelled differently. A 
pawl is a sort of catch that fits into a ratchet 
wheel and pushes it around, or it may be used as 
a catch to prevent the backward motion of a wind- 
lass or the wheel on a derrick. I'll have it fixed 
in a jiffy for you." 

Tom worked rapidly. With a monkey-wrench 
fae removed the two big wheels of the lawn-mower 
and reversed the pawl in the cogs. In five min- 
utes hft had rq)laced the wheels, and the machine, 
exc^t for needed sharpening, ^d good work. 

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"There you are, Radl" exclaimed Tom at 

"Yo' suah am a wonder at inventin' !" cried 
the colored man gratefully. "I'll cut yo' grass 
all summah fo' yo' to pay fo' this, Mistah Swift." 

"Oh, that's too much. I didn't do a great deal, 

"Well, yo' saved me from bein' swindled, Mis- 
tah Swift, an' I suah does 'preciate dat." 

"How about the fellow you traded the cracked 
grindstone to, Rad?" 

"Oh, well, ef he done run it slow it won't fly 
apart, an' he'll do dat, anyhow, fo' he suah am a 
lazy coon. I guess we am about even there, Mis- 
tah Swift." 

"All right," spoke Tom with a laugh. "Sharp- 
en it up, Rad, and start in to cut grass. It will 
soon be summer," and Tom, le^ng upon his 
motor-cycle, was off like a shot 

He found his father in his library, reading a 
book on scientific matters. Mr. Swift looked up 
in surprise at seeing his son. 

"What! Back so soon?" he asked. "You did 
make a flying trip. Did you give the model and 
papers to Mr. Crawford ?" 

"No, dad, I was robbed yesterday. Those 
scoundrels got ahead of us, after all. They have 

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your model. I tried to telephone to you, but the 
wires were down, or something," 

"What!" cried Mr. Swift. "Oh, Tom! That's 
too bad I I will lose ten thousand dollars if I 
can't get that model and those papers back!" and 
with a despairing gesture Mr. Swift rose and 
began to pace the floor. 

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Tom watched his father anxiously. The joaag 
inventor knew the loss had been a heavy one, and 
he blamed himself for not having been more care- 

"Tell me all about it, Tom," said Mr. Swift at 
length. "Are you sure the model and papers are 
gone? How did it happen?" 

Then Tom related what had befallen him. 

"Oh, that's too bad!" cried Mr. Swift "Are 
you much hurt, Tom? Shall I send for the doc- 
tor?" For the time being his anxiety over his 
son was greater than that concerning- his loss. 

"No, indeed, dad. I'm all right now. I gpt 
a bad blow on the head, but Mrs. Bladcford fixed 
me up. I'm awfully sorry " 

"There, there I Now don't say another word," 
interrupted Mr. Swift "It wasn't your fault. 
It might have happened to me. I dare lay it 
would, for those scoundrels seemed verj deter- 

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mined. They are desperate, and will stop at noth- 
ing to make good the loss they sustained on the 
patent motor iiity exploited. Now they will prob- 
ably try to make use of my model and papers." 

"Do you think they'll do that, dad ?" 

"Yes. They will either make a motor exactly 
like mine, or construct one so nearly similar that 
it will answer their purpose. I will have no re- 
dress against tliem, as my patent is not fully 
granted yet Mr. Crawford was to attend to that." 

"Can't you do anything to stop them, dad? 
File an injunction, or something like that?" . 

"I don't know. I must see Mr. Crawford at 
once. I wonder i f he could come here ? He might 
be able to advise me. I have had very little ex- 
perience with legal difficulties. My specialty is in 
other lines of work. But I must do something. 
Every moment is valuable. I wonder who the 
men were?" 

"I'm stu'e one of them was the same man who 
came here that night — the man with the blade 
mustache, who dropped the telegram," said Tom. 
"I had a pretty good look at him as the auto 
passed me, and I'm sure it was he. Of course ! 
didn't see who it was that struck me down, but 
I imagine it was some one of the same gang." 

"Very likely. Well, Tom, I must do some- 
tiiing. I suppose I might telegraph to Mr. Craw- 

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ford — he will be expecting you in Albany ** 

Mr. Swift paused musingly. "No, I have it !" he 
suddenly exclaimed. "I'll go to Albany myself." 

"Go to Albany, dad?" 

"Yes ; I must explain everything to the lawyer^ 
and then he can advise me what to do. Fortu- 
nately I have some papers, duplicates of those you 
took, which I can show him. Of course the origi- 
nals will be necessary before I can prove my claim. 
Tlie loss of the model is the most severe, how- 
ever. Without that I can do little. But I will 
have Mr. Crawford take whatever steps are pos- 
sible. I'll take the night train, Tom. I'll have to 
leave you to look after matters here, and I needn't 
cauticm you to be on your guard, though, having 
got what they were after, I fancy those financiers, 
or their tools, will not bother us again." 

"Very likely not," agreed Tom, "but I will keep 
my eyes open, just the same. Oh, but that reminds 
me, dad. Did you see an3thing of a tramp around 
here while I was away?" 

"A tramp? No; but you had better ask Mrs. 
Baggert. She usually attends to them. She's so 
kind-hearted that she frequently gives them a good 

The housekeeper, when consulted, said that no 
tramps had applied in the last few days. 

"Why do you ask, Tom?" inquired his father 

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"Because I had an experience with one, and I 
believe he was a member of the same gang who 
robbed me." And thereupon Tom told of his 
encounter with Happy Harry, and how the latter 
had broken the wire on the motor-cycle. 

"You had a narrow escape," commented Mr 
Swift "If I had known the dangers involved I 
would never have allowed you to take the model 
to Albany." 

"Well, I didn't take it there, after all," said 
Tom with a grim smile, for he could appreciate a 

"I must hurry and pack my valise," went on 
Mr. Swift. "Mrs. Baggert, we will have an early 
supper, and I will start at once for Albany." 

"I wish I could go with you, dad, to make up 
for the trouble I caused," spoke Tom, 

"Tut, tut ! Don't talk that way," advised his 
father kindly. "I will be glad of the trip. It 
will ease my mind to be doing something." 

Tom felt rather lonesome after his father had 
left, but he laid out a plan of action for himself 
that he thought would keep him occupied until 
his father returned. In the first place he made a 
tour of the house and various machine shops to 
see that doors and windows were securely fast- 

"What's the matter? Do you expect burglars, 

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Master Tom?" asked Garret Jackson, the aged 

"Well, Garret, you never can tell," replied the 
young inventor, as he told of his experience and 
the necessity for Mr. Swift going to Albany. 
"Some of those scoundrels, finding how easy it 
was to rob me, may try it again, and get some of 
dad's other valuable models. I'm taking no 

"That's right. Master Tom. I'll keep steam 
up in the boiler to-night, though we don't really 
need it, as your father told me you would proba- 
bly not run any machinery when he was gone. 
But with a good head of steam up, and a hose 
handy, I can give any burglars a hot reception. 
I almost wish they'd come, so I coidd get square 
with them." 

"I don't. Garret. Well, I guess everything is in 
good shape. If you hear anything unusual, or the 
alarm goes off during the night, call me." 

"I will. Master Tom," and the old engineer, 
who had a living-room in a shack adjoining the 
boiler-room, locked the door after Tom left. 

The young inventor spent the early evening in 
attaching a new wire to his motor-cycle to replace 
the one he had purchased while on his disastrous 
trip. The temf>orary one was not just the proper 
thing, though it answered well enough. Then, 

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having done sane work on a new boat propeller 
he was contemplating patenting, Tom felt that it 
was time to go to bed, as he was tired. He made 
a second round of the house, looking to doors and 
windows, until Mrs. Ba^^rt exclaimed : 

"Oh, Tom, do stop! You make me nervous, 
going around that way. I'm sure I shan't sleep a 
wink to-night, thinking of burglars and tramps." 

Tom laughingly desisted, and went up to his 
room. He sat up a few minutes, writing a letter 
to a girl of his acquaintance, for, in spite of the 
fact that the young inventor was very busy with 
his oWn and his father's work, he found time for 
ligfiter pleasures. Then, as his eyes seemed de- 
termined to close of their own accord, if he did 
not let them, he tumbled into bed. 

Tom fancied it was nearly morning when he 
suddenly awoke with a start. He heard a noise, 
and at first he could not locate it. Then his trained 
ear traced it to the dining-room. 

"Why, Mrs. Baggert must be getting break- 
fast, and is rattling the dishes," he thought. "But 
why is she up so early?" 

It was quite dark in Tom's room, save for a 
little gleam frc«n the crescent moon, and by the 
light of this Twn arose and looked at his watch. 

"Two o'clock," he whispered. "That can't be 

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Mrs. Baggert, unless she's sick, and got up to 
take some medicine." 

He listened intently. Below, in the dining- 
room, he could hear stealthy movements. 

"Mrs. Baggert would never move around like 
that," he decided. "She's too heavy. I wonder — 
it's a burglar — one of the gang has gotten in !" he 
exclaimed in tense tones. "I'm going to catch 
him at it !" 

Hurriedly he slipped on some clothes, and then, 
having softly turned on the electric light in his 
room, he took from a corner a small rifle, which 
he made sure was loaded. Then, having taken a 
small electric flashlight, of the kind used by police- 
men, and sometimes by burglars, he started on 
tiptoe toward the lower floor. 

As Tom softly descended the stairs he could 
more plainly hear the movements of the intruder. 
He made out now that the burglar was in Mr. 
Swift's study, which opened from the dining- 

"He's after dad's papers!" thought Tom. "I 
wonder which one this is?" 

The youth had often gone hunting in the woods, 
and he knew how to approach cautiously. Thus 
he was able to reach the door of the dining-room 
without being detected. He had no need to flash 
his light, for the intruder was doing that so fre- 

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quently with one he carried that Tom could see 
him perfectly. The fellow was working at the 
safe in which Mr. Swift kept his more valuable 

Softly, very softly Tom brought his rifle to bear 
on the back of the thief. Then, holding the 
weapon with one hand, for it was very light, Tom 
extended the electric flash, so that the glare would 
be thrown on the intruder and would leave his 
own person in the black shadows. Pressing the 
spring which caused the lantern to throw out 
a powerful glow, Tom focused the rays on the 
kneeling man. 

"That will be about all !" the youth exclaimed 
in as steady a voice as he could manage. 

The burglar turned like a flash, and Tom had 
a glimpse of his face. It was the tramp — Happy 
Harry — whom he had encountered on the lonely 

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Tom held his rifle in readiness, though he only 
intended it as a means of intimidation, and would 
not have fired at the burglar except to save his 
own life. But the sight of the weapon was 
enough for the tramp. He crouched motionless. 
His own light had gone out, but by the gleam of 
the electric he carried Tom could see that the man 
had in his hand some tool with which he had 
been endeavoring to force the safe. 

"I guess you've got me!" exclaimed the in- 
truder, and there was in his tones no trace of 
the tramp dialect 

"It looks like it," agreed Tom grimly. "Are 
you a tramp now, or in some other disguise ?" 

"Can't you see?" asked the fellow sullenly, and 
then Tom did notice that the man still had on his 
tramp make-up. 

"What do you want?" asked Tom. 

"Hard to tell," replied the burglar cabnly. "I 



hadn't got the safe c^>cn before you came down 
and disturbed me. I'm after laaaey, naturally." 

"No, you're not!" exclaimed Tom. 

"What's that?" and the man seemed surprised. 

"No, you're not 1" went on Tom, and he held 
his rifle in readiness. "You're after the patent 
papers and the model of the turbine motor. But 
it's gone. Your confederates got it away from 
me. They probably haven't told you yet, and 
you're still on the hunt for it You'll not get it, 
but I've got you." 

"So I see," admitted Happy Harry, and he 
spoke with some culture. "If you don't mind," 
he went on, "would you just as so<mi move that 
gun a little? It's pointing right at my head, and 
it might go off." 

"It is going off — very soon !" exclaimed Tom 
grimly, and the tramp started in alarm. "Oh, 
I'm not going to shoot you," continued the young 
inventor. "I'm going to fire this as an alarm, and 
the engineer will come in here and tie you up. 
Then I'm going to hand you over to the police. 
This rifle is a repeater, and I am a pretty good 
shot. I'm going to fire once now, to summon as- 
sistance, and if you try to get away I'll be ready 
to fire a second time, and that wcm't be so com- 
fortable for you. I've caught you, and I'm going 

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to hold on to you until I get that model and those 
papers back." 

"Oh, you are, eh ?" asked the burglar calmly. 
"Well, all I've got to say is that you have grit 
Go ahead. I'm caught good and proper. I was 
foolish to come in here, but I thought I'd take a 

"Who are you, anyhow? Who are the men 
working with you to defraud my father of his 
rights ?" asked Tom somewhat bitterly. 

"I'll never tell you," answered the burglar, "I 
was hired to do certain work, and that's all there 
is to it. I'm not going to peach on my pals." 

"We'll see about that !" burst out Tom. Then 
he noticed that a dining-room window behind 
where the burglar was kneeling was open. Doubt- 
less the intruder had entered that way, and in- 
tended to escape in the same manner. 

"I'm going to shoot," announced Tom, and, 
aiming his rifle at the open window, where the 
bullet would do no damage, he pressed the trig- 
ger. He noticed that the burglar was crouching 
low down on the floor, but Tom thought nothing 
of this at the time. He imagined that Happy' 
Harry — or whatever his name was — might be 
afraid of getting hit 

There was a flash of fire and a deafening report 
as Tom fired. The cloud of smoke obscured his 

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vision for a moment, and as the echoes died away 
Tom could hear Mrs. Baggert screaming in her 

"It's all right!" cried the young inventor re- 
assuringly. "No one is hurt, Mrs. Baggert!" 
Then he flashed his light on the spot where the 
burglar had crouched. As the smoke rolled away 
Tom peered in vain for a sight of the intruder, 

Happy Harry was gone! 

Holding his rifle in readiness, in case he should 
be attaclced from some unexpected quarter, Tom 
strode forward. He flashed his light in every 
direction. There was no doubt about it. The 
intruder had fled. Taking advantage of the noise 
when the gun was fired, and under cover of the 
smoke, the burglar had leaped from the open win- 
dow. Tom guessed as much. He hurried to the 
casement and peered out, at the same time noticing 
the cut wire of the burglar alarm. It was quite 
dark, and he fancied he could hear the noise of 
some one running rapidly. Aiming his rifle into 
the air, he fired again, at the same time crying 

"Hold on!" 

"All right, Master Tom, I'm coming!" called 
the voice of the engineer from his shack. "Are 
you hurt? Is Mrs. Baggert murdered? I hear 
her screaming." 

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"That's pretty good evidoice that she isn't mur- 
dered," said Tom with a grim smile. 

"Are you hurt?" again called Mr. Jackson. 

"No, I'm all right," answered Tom. "Did you 
see any one running away as you came up?" 

"No, Master Tom, I didn't What happened ?" 

"A burglar got in, and I had him cornered, but 
he got away when I fired to arouse you." 

By this time the engineer was at the stoop, on 
which the window opened. TcHn unlocked a side 
door and admitted Mr. Jackson, and then, the 
incandescent light having been turned on, the two 
looked around the apartment. Nothing in it had 
been disturbed, and the safe had not been opened. 

"I heard him just in time," commented Tom, 
telling the engineer what had happened. "1 wish 
I had thought to get between him and the win- 
dow. Then he couldn't have gotten away." 

"He mi^t have injured you, though," said 
Mr. Jackson. "We'll go outside now, and 
look- — —" 

"Is any one killed? Are you both murdered?" 
cried Mrs. Baggert at the dining-room door. "If 
any one is killed I'm not coming in there. I can't 
bear the sight of blood." 

"No one is hurt," declared Tom with a laugh. 
"Come on in, Mrs. Baggert," and the house* 
ket;per entered, her hair all done up in cur] papers. 

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"Oh, my goodness me !" she exclaimed. "When 
Z heard that cannon go off I was sure the house 
was coming down. How is it some one wasn't 

, "That wasn't a cannon ; it was only my little 
rifle," said Tom, and then he told again, for the 
benefit of the housekeeper, the story of what had 

"We'd better huiry and lode around the prem- 
ises," st^fgested Mr. Jackson. "Maybe he is hid- 
ing, and will come back, or perhaps he has scxne 
confederates on the watch." 

"Not much danger of that," declared T<Mn. 
"Happy Harry is far enough away from here 
now, and so are his confederates, if he had any, 
which I doubt Still, it will do no harm to take 
a look around." 

A search resulted in nothing, however, and the 
Swift household had so(»i settled down again, 
though no one slept soundly during the remainder 
of the night 

In the morning Tom sent word of what had 
happened to the police of Shopton. Some officers 
came out to the house, but, beyond looking wisely 
at the window by which the burglar had entered 
and at scnne footprints in the garden, they could 
do nothing. Tom wanted to go off on his moto"-- 
cycle on a tour of the surrounding neighborhood 



to see if he could get any clues, but he did not 
think it would be wise in the absence of his father. 
He thought it would be better to remain at hcmie, 
in case any further efforts were made to get pos- 
session of valuable models or papers. 

"There's not much likelihood of that, though," 
said TcOTi to the old engineer. "Those fellows 
have what they want, and are not going to bother 
us again. I would like to get that model back for 
dad, though. If they file it and take out a patent, 
even if he can prove that it is his, it will mean a 
long lawsuit and he may be defrauded of his 
rights, after alL Possession is nine points of 
the law, and part of the tenth, too, I guess." 

So Tom remained at home and busied himself 
as well as he could over some new machines he 
was constructing. He got a telegram frwn his 
father that afternoon, stating that Mr. Swift had . 
safely arrived in Albany, and would return the 
following day. 

"Did you have any luck, dad?" asked the young 
inventor, when his father, tired and worn from 
the unaccustomed traveling, reached home in the 

"Not much, Tom," was the reply. "Mr. Craw- 
ford has gone back to Washington, and he is 
going to do what he can to prevent those men 
taking advantage of me." 

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"Did you get any trace of the thieves? Docs 
Mr. Crawford think he can?" 

"No to both questions. His idea is that the 
men will remain in hiding for a while, and then, 
when the matter has quieted down, th^ will pro- ^ 
ceed to get a patent c»i the motor that I invented." 

"But, in the meanwhile, can't you make an- 
other model and get a patent yourself?" 

"No; there are certain legal difficulties in the 
way. Besides, those men have the OTiginat papers 
I need. As for the model, it will take me nearly a 
year to build a new one that will work properly, 
as it is very complicated. I am afraid, Tom, that 
all my labor on the turbine motor is thrown away. 
Those scoundrels will reap the benefit of it." 

"Oh, I hope not, dad ! I'm sure those fellows 
will be caught. Now that you are back home 
again, I'm going out on a hunt on my own ac- 
count. I don't put much faith in the polity. It 
was through me, dad, that you lost your modd 
and the papers, and I'll get them back I" 

"No, you must not think it was your fault, 
Tom," said his father. "You could not help it; 
though I appreciate your desire to recover the( 
missing model." 

"And I'll do it, too, dad. I'll start to-morrow, 
and I'll make a complete circuit of the country for 
a hundred miles around. I can easily do it oa 

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my motor-cycle. If I can't get on the trail of 
the three men who robbed me, maybe I can find 
Happy Harry." 

"I doubt it, my son. Still, you may try. Now 
I must write to Mr. Crawford and tell him about 
the attempted burglary while I was away. It 
may give him a due to work on. I'm afraid you 
lan quite a risk, Tom." 

"I didn't think about that, dad. I only wish X 
had managed to keep that rascal a prisoner." 

The next day Tom started off on a hunt. He 
planned to be gone overnight, as he intended to 
go first to Dunkirk, where Mr. Blackford liv«d, 
and b^n his search fr<nn there. 

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The farmer's family, including the son who 
was a deputy sheriff, was glad to see Tom. Jed 
said he had "been on the job" ever since the myste- 
rious robbery of Tom had taken place, but though 
he had seen many red automobiles he had no 
trace of the three men. 

From Dunkirk Tom went back over the route 
he had taken in going from PompviUe to Centre- 
ford, and made some inquiries in the neighbor- 
hood of the church shed, where he had taken 
shelter. The locality was sparsely settled, how- 
ever, and no (Mie couM give any clues to the rob- 

The young inventor next made a trip over the 
lonely, sandy road, where he had met with the 
tramp, Happy Harry, But there were even fewer 
houses near that stretch than around the church, 
so he got no satisfaction there. Tom spent the 
night at a country inn, and resumed his search 
the next momii^, but with no results. The men 

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had apparently completely disappeared, leaving no 
traces behind them. 

"I may as well go home," thought Tom, as he 
was riding his motor-cycle along a pleasant coun- 
Itry road. "Dad may be worried, and perhaps 
something has turned up in Shopton that will aid 
me. If there isn't, I'm going to start out again 
in a few days in another direction." 

There was no news in Shopton, however. Tom 
found his father scarcely able to work, so worried 
was he over the loss of his most important in- 

Two weeks passed, the young machinist taking 
trips of several days' duration to different points 
near his home, in the hope of discovering some- 
thing. But he was unsuccessful, and, in the mean- 
while, no reassuring word was received from the 
lawyers in Washington. Mr. Crawford wrote 
that no move had yet been made by the thieves 
to take out patent papers, and while this, in a 
sense, was some aid to Mr. Swift, still he could 
not proceed on his own account to protect his new 
motor. All that could be done was to await the 
first movement on the part of the scoundrels. 

"I think I'll try a new plan to-morrow, dad," 
announced Tom one night, when he and his father 
had talked over again, for perhaps the twentieth 
time, the happenings of the last few weeks. 

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"What is it, Tom?" asked the inventor. 

"Well, I think I'll take a week's trip on my 
machine. I'll visit all the small towns around 
here, hut, instead of asking in houses for news of 
the tramp or his confederates, I'U go to the police 
and constables. I'll ask if they have arrested 
any tramps recently, and, if they have, I'll ask 
them to let me see the Tiobo' prisoners." 

"What good will that do?" 

"rn tell you. I have an idea that though the 
burglar who got in here may not be a regular 
tramp, yet he disguises himself like one at times, 
and may be known to other tramps. If I can get 
on the trail of Happy Harry, as he calls himself, 
I may locate the other men. Tramps would be 
very likely to remember such a peculiar chap as 
Happy Harry, and they will tell me where they 
had last seen him. Then I will have a starting 

"Well, that may be a good plan," assented Mr. 
Swift. "At any rate it will do no harm to try. 
A tramp locked up in a country police station will 
very likely be willing to talk. Go ahead with 
that scheme, Tom, but don't get into any danger. 
How long will you be away?" 

"I don't know. A week, perhaps; maybe longer. 
I'll take plenty of money with me, and stop at 
country hotels overnight" 

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Tom lost no time in putting his plan into execu- 
tion. He packed some clothes in a grip, which he 
attached to the rear of his motor-cycle, and then 
having said good-by to his father, started off. The 
first three days he met with no success. He lo- 
cated several tramps in country lock-ups, where 
they had been sent for begging or loitering, but 
none of them knew Happy Harry or had ever 
heard of a tramp answering his description. 

"He ain't one of us, youse can make up your 
mind to dat," said one "hobo" whom Tom inter- 
viewed. "No real knight of de highway goes 
around in a disguise. We leaves dat for de story- 
book detectives. I'm de real article, I am, an' I 
don't know Happy Harry. But, fer dat matter, 
any of us is happy enough in de summer time, if 
we don't strike a burgh like dis, where dey jugs 
you fer panhandlin'." 

In general, Tom foimd the tramp willing 
enough to answer his questions, though some were 
sullen, and returned only surly growls to his in- 

"I guess I'll have to give it up and go back 
home," he decided one night. But there was a 
small town, not many miles from Shopton, which 
he had not yet visited, and he resolved to try there 
before returning. Accordingly, the next morning 
found him inquiring of the police authorities in 

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Meadten. But no tramps had been arrested in 
the last month, and no one had seen anything of, 
a tramp Hke Happy Harry or three mysterious 
men in an automobile. 

Tom was beginning to despair. Riding along 
a silent road, that passed through a strip of woods, 
he was trying to think of some new line of pro- 
cedure, when the silence of the highway, that, 
hitherto, had resounded only with the muffled ex- 
plosions of his machine, was broken by several 

"Now, Boomerang, yo' might jest as well start 
now as later," Tom heard a voice saying — a voice 
he recognized well. "Yo* hab got t' do dis yeah 
wuk, an' dere ain't no gittin' out ob it. Dis yeah 
wood am got to be sawed, an' yo' hab got to saw 
it. But it am jest laik yo' to go back on yo' ole 
friend Eradicate in dis yeah fashion. I neber 
could tell what yo' were gwine t' do next, an' I 
cain't now. G'lang, now, won't yo'? Let's git 
dis yeah sawmill started." 

Tom shut off the power and leaped from his 
wheel. From the woods at his left came the pro- 
testing "hee-haw" of a mule. 

"Boomerang and Eradicate Sampson!" ex- 
claimed the young inventor. "What can they be 
doing here?" 

He leaned his motor-cycle against the fence and 

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advanced toward where he had heard the voice 
of the colored man. In a little clearing he saw 
liim. Eradicate was presiding over a portable 
sawmill, worked by a treadmill, on the incline 
of which was the mule, its ears laid back, and an 
unmistakable expression of anger on its face. 

"Why, Rad, what are you doing?" cried Tom. 

"Good land o' massy ! Ef it ain't young Mis- 
tah Swift!" cried the darky. "Howdy, Mistah 
Swift! Howdy! I'm jest tryin' t' saw some 
wood, t' make a livin', but Boomerang he doan't 
seem t' want t' lib," and with that Eradicate 
looked reproachfully at the animal. 

"What seems to be the trouble, and how did 
you come to own this sawmill ?" asked Tom. 

"I'll tell you', Mistah Swift, I'll tell you,' spc4ce 
Eradicate. "Sit right yeah on dis log, an' I'll 
explanaticm it to yo'." 

"The last time I saw you, you were preparing 
to go into the grass-cutting business," went oa 

"Yais, sah ! Dat's right. So I was. Yo' has 
got a memory, yo' suah has. But it am dis yeah 
way. Grass ain't growin' quick enough, an' so 
X traded off dat lawn-moah an' bought dis yeah 
mill. But now it won't go, an' I suah am in 
trouble," and once more Eradicate Sampson 
looked indignantly at Boomerang. 




*^ELL me all about it," urged Tom syiwpa* 
thetically, for he had a friendly feelii^ toward 
the aged darky. 

"Well," began Eradicate, "I suah thought I 
were gwine to make mtmey cuttin' grass, 'spe- 
cially after yo' done fixed mah moah. But 
'peared laik nobody wanted any grass cut I 
trabeled all ober, an' I couldn't git no jobs. Now 
me an' Boomerang has to eat, no mattah ef he is 
contrary, so I had t' look fo' some new wuk. I 
traded dat lawn-moah off fo' a cross-cut saw, 
but dat was such hard wuk dat I gib it up. Den 
I got a chance to buy dis yeah outfit cheap, an* 
I bought it." 

Eradicate then went on to tel* how he had pur- 
chased the portable sawmill frcmi a man who 
had no further use for it, and how he had man- 
aged to transport it from a distant village to the 
spot where Tom had met him. There he had se- 
cured permissi<»i to work a piece of woodland 

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on shares, sawing up the smaller trees int« cord 
wood. He had started in well enough, cutting 
down considerable timber, for the colored man 
was a willing worker, but when he tried to start 
his mill he met with trouble. 

"I counted on Boomerang helpin' me," he said 
to Tom, "All he has to do is walk on dat tread- 
mill, an' keep goin*. Dat makes de saw go 'round, 
an' I saws de wood. But de trouble am dat I 
can't git BocMnerang to move. I done tried ebery 
means I knows on, ^n' he won't go. I talked 
kind to him, an' I talked harsh. I done beat him 
wif a club, an' I rub his ears soft laik, an' he 
allers did laik dat, but he won't go. I fed him 
on carrots an' I gib him sugar, an' I eben starve 
him, but he won't go. Heah I been tryin' fo' three 
days now t' git him started, an' not a stick hah I 
sawed. De man what I'm wukin' wif on shares 
he git mad, an' he say ef I doan't saw wood pretty 
soon he gwine t' git annuder mill heah. Now I 
axes yo' fair, Mistah Swift, ain't I got lots ob 
trouble ?" 

"You certainly seem to have," agreed Tom 
"But why is Boomerang so obstinate? Usually 
on a treadmill a horse or a mule has to work 
whether they like it or not. If they don't keep 
moving the platform slides out from under thetn, 
and they come up against the back bar." 

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"Dat's what done happened to Boomerang," 
declared Eradicate. "He done back up against de 
bar, an' dere he stay." 

Tom went over and lodced at the mill. The 
outfit was an old one, and had seen much service^ 
but the trained eye of the young inventor saw 
that it could still be used effectively. Boomerang 
watched Tom, as though aware that something 
unusual was about to happen. 

"Heah I done gone an* 'vested mah money in 
dis yeah mill," c(»nplained Eradicate, "an* I ain't 
sawed up a single stick. £f I wasn't so kind- 
hearted I'd chastise dat mule wuss dan I has, 
dat's what I would." 

Tom said nothing. He was stooping down, 
looking at the gearing that connected the tread- 
mill with the shaft which revolved the saw. Sud- 
denly he uttered an exclamation. 

"Rad, have you been monkeying with this ma- 
chinery?" he asked. 

Me? Good land, Mistah Swift, no, sah! I 
wouldn't tech it It's jest as I got it from d« 
man I bought it ob. It worked when he had it. 
but he used a hoss. It's all due to de contrariness 
ob Boomerang, an' if I " 

"No, it isn't the mule's fault at all I" exclaimed 
Tom. "The mill is out of gear, and tread is 
todced; that's all The man you bought it of 

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probably did it so you could haul it along the 
road. Ill have it fixed for you in a few minutes. 
Wait until I get some tools." 

From the bag on his motor-cycle Tom got his 
implements. He first unlodted the treadmill, S0| 
that the inclined platform, on which the animal 
slowly walked, could revolve. No sooner had he 
done this than Boomerang, feeling the slats under 
his hoofs moving away, started forward. With a 
rattle the treadmill slid around. 

"Good land o' massy ! It's goin' !" cried Eradi- 
cate delightedly. "It suah am gcMn'I" he added 
as he saw the mule, with nimble feet, send the 
revolving, endless string of slats around and 
around. "But de saw doan't move, Mistah Swift 
Yd' am pretty smart at fixin' it as much as yo' 
has, but I reckon it's too busted t' eber saw any 
wood. I'se got bad luck, dat's what I has." 

"Nonsense 1" exclaimed Tom. "The sawmill 
will be going in a moment. All I have to do is 
to throw it into gear. See here, Rad. When 
you want tiie saw to go you just throw this han- 
dle forward. That makes the gears mesh." 

"What's dat 'bout mush?" asked Eradicate. 

"Mesh — not mush. I mean it makes the cc^ 
fit together. See," and Tom pressed the lever. 
In an instant, with a musical whirr, the saw b^;aa 

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"Hurrah! Dere it goes! Golly! see dat saw 
move!" cried the delighted colored man. He 
seized a stick of wood, and in a trice it was sawed 

"Whoop!" yelled Eradicate. "I'm sabed now! 
Bless yo*, Mistah Swift, yo' suttinly am a won- 

"Now I'll show you how it works," went on 
Tom. "When you want to stop Boomerang, you 
jiist pull this handle. That locks the tread, and 
he can't move it," and, suiting the action to his 
words, Tom stopped the mill. "Then," he went 
on, "when you want him to move, you pull the 
handle this way," and he showed the darky how 
to do it. In a moment the mule was moving 
again. Then Tom illiistrated how to throw the 
saw in and out of gear, and in a few minutes 
the sawmill was in full operation, with a most 
energetic colored man feeding in \og% to be cut 
up into stove lengths. 

"You ought to have an assistant, Rad," said 
Tom, after he had watched the work for a while. 
"You could get more done then, and move on to 
some other wood-patch." 

"Dat's right, Mistah Swift, so I had. But I 
done tried, an' couldn't git any. I ast seberal 
colored men, but dey'd radder whitewash an' 
clean chicken coops. I guess I'll hab t' go it 

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alone. I ast a white man yisterday ef he wouldn't 
like t' pitch in an' help, but he said he didn't like 
to wuk. He was a tramp, an' he had de nerve to 
ask me fer money — me, a hard-wuldn' oocm." 

"You didn't give it to him, I hope." 

"No, indeedy, but he come so close to me dat 
I was askeered he might take it from me, so I 
kept hold ob a dub. He suah was a bad-Iookin' 
tramp, an* he kept lafiin" all de while, like he was 

"What's Ihat?" cried Tom, strudc by the words 
of the cobred man. "Did he have a thick, brown 

"Dat's what he had," answered Eradicate, 
pausing in the midst of his work. "He suah were 
a funny sort ob tramp. His hands done looked 
laik he neber wuked, an' he had a funny blue ring 
one finger, only it wasn't a reg'lar ring, yo* know. 
It was pushed right inter his skin, laik a man I 
seen at de circus onc^ all cohered wid funny fig- 

Tom leaped to his feet. 

"Which finger was the blue ring tattooed on ?" 
he asked, and he waited anxiously for the answer, 

"Let me see, it were on de right — no, it were 
on de little finger ob de left hand." 

"Are you sure, Rad?" 

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"Suah, Mistah Swift. I took 'ticlar notice 
*cause he carried a stick in dat same hand." 

"It must be my man — ^Happy Harry!" cx- 
j daimed Tmh half aloud. "Whidi way did he g(^ 
'Rad, after he left you?" 

"He went up de lake shore," replied the col- 
ored man. "He asked me if I knowed ob an ole 
Ug house up dere, what nobody libed in, an' I 
said I did. Den he left, an' I were glad ob it" 

"Which house did you mean, Rad?'* 

"Why, dat ole mansion what General Hark- 
ness used t' lib in befo' de wah. Dere ain't no- 
body libed in it fo' some years now, an' it's de- 
serted. Maybe a lot ob tramps stays in it, an* 
dat's where dis man were goin'." 

"Maybe," assented Tom, who was all excite 
ment now. "Just where is this old bouse, Rad?" 

"Away up at de head ob Lake Carlopa. I 
uster wuk dere befo' de wah, but it's been a good 
many years since quality folks libed dere. Why, 
did yo' want t' see dat man, Mistah Swift?" 

"Yes, Rad, I did, and very badly, too. I think 
He is the very person I want. But don't say any- 
Jiing about it. I'm going to take a trip up to 
that strange mansion. Maybe I'll get on the trail 
of H^py Harry and the men who robbed me. 
I'm much obliged to you, Rad, for this informa- 
tt(Hi. It's a good clue, I think. Strange that you 

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should meet the very tramp I've been searching 

"Well, I suah am obliged to yo', Mistah Swift, 
fo' fixin' mah sawmill." 

"That's all right What you told me more than 
pays for what I did, Rad. Well, I'm going home 
now to tell dad, and then I'm going to start out 
Yesterday, you said it was, you saw Happy 
Harry? Well, I'll get right after him," and leav- 
ing a scanewhat surprised, but very much de- 
lighted, colored man behind him, Tcon mounted 
his motor-cycle and started for borne at a fast 

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"Dad, I've got a due !" exclaimed Tom, hurry* 
ing into the house late that afternoon, following 
a quick trip from where he had met Eradicate with 
his sawmill. "A good clue, and I'm going to 
start early in the morning to run it down." 

"Wait a minute, now, Tom," cautioned his 
father slowJy. "You know what happens when 
you get excited. Nothing good was ever done in 
a hurry." 

"Well, I can't help being excited, dad. I think 
I'm on the trail of those scoundrels. I ahnost wish 
I could start to-night." 

"Suppose you tell me all about it," and Mr. 
Swift laid aside a scientific book he was reading. 

Whereupon Tom told of his meeting with the 
colored man, and what Eradicate bad said about . 
the tramp. 

"But he may not be the same Happy Harry 
you are looking for," interposed Mr. Swift 

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"Tramps who don't like to work, and who have a 
jolly disposition, also those who ask for money 
and have designs tattooed on their hands, are very 

"Oh, but I'm sure this is the same cki^" de- 
clared Tom. "He wants to stay in this ndghbor- 
bood until he locates his confederates. That's 
why he's hanging around. Now I have an idea 
that the deserted mansicm, where Eradicate used 
to work, and which once housed General Hark- 
ness and his family, is the rendezvous of this 
gang of thieves." 

"You ire taking a great deal for granted, 

"I don't think so, dad. I've got to assume 
(Wmething, and maybe I'm wrong, but I don't 
think so. At any rate, I'm going to try, if youll 
let me." 

"What do you mean to do?" 

"I want to go to that deserted mansion and 
see what I can find. If I locate the thieves, 
well " 

"You may run into danger." 

"Then you admit I may be on the right track, 

"Not at all," and Mr. Swift «niled at the quidc 
manner in which Tom turned the taUes on him. 
"I admit there may be a band of tramps in tfiat 

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hcpuse. Very likely there is — almost any deserted 
place would be attractiTe to them. But they may 
not be the ones you seek. In fact, I hardly see 
how they can be. The men who stole my model 
and patent papei-s are wealthy. They would not 
be very likely to stay in deserted houses." 

"Perhaps some of the scoundrels whom they 
hired might, and through them I can get on the 
track of the principals." 

"WcU, there is sconething in that," admitted Mr. 

"Then may I go, dad?" 

"I suppose so. We rmist leave nothing un- 
tried to get back the stolen model and papers. 
But I don't want you to run any risks. If you 
would only take some one with you. There's your 
chum, Ned Newton. Perhaps he would go." 

"No, I'd rather work it alone, dad. I'll be 
careful. Besides, Ned could not get away from 
the bank. I may have to be gone a week, and 
he has no motor-cycle. I can manage all right," 

Tom was off bright and early. He had care- 
fully laid his plans, and had decided that he would 
not go direct to Pineford, which was the nearest 
village to the old Harkness mansion. 

"If those fellows are in hiding they will proba- 
bly keep watch on who comes to the village," 
thought Tom. "The arrival of some one on a 

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motor-cycle will be sure to be reported to them, 
and they may skip out. I've got to come up from 
another direction, so I think I'll circle around, and 
reach the mansion from the stretch of woods op 
the north." 

He had inquired from Eradicate as to the lay 
of the land, and had a good general idea of it. 
He knew there was a patch of woodland on one 
side of the mansion, while the other sides were 

"I may not be able to ride through the woods," 
mused Tom, "but I'll take my machine as close 
as I can, and walk the rest of the way. Once I 
discover whether or not the gang is in the place, 
I'll know what to do." 

To follow out the plan he had laid down for 
himself meant that Tom must take a roundabout 
way. It would necessitate being a whole day 
on the road, before he would be near the head of 
Lake Carlt^a, where the Harkness house was 
located. The lake was a large one, and Tom had 
never been to the upper end. 

When he was within a few miles of Pineford, 
:Tom took a road that branched off and went 
around it. Stopping at night in a lonely farm- 
house, he pushed on the next morning, hoping to 
get to the woods that night. But a puncture to 
one of the tires delayed him, and after that was 

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repaired he discovered something wrong with his 
batteries. He had to go five miles out of his way 
to get new cells, and it was dusk when he came 
to the stretch of woods which he knew lay be- 
tween him and the old mansion. 

"I don't fancy starting in there at night," said 
Tom to himself. "Guess I'd better stay some- 
where around here until morning, and then ven- 
ture in. But the question is where to stay?" 

The country was deserted, and for a mile or 
more he had seen no houses. He kept on for some 
distance farther, the dusk falling rapidly, and 
when he was about to turn back to retrace his way 
to the last farmhouse he had passed, he saw a 
slab shanty at the side of the road. 

"That's better than nothing, provided they'll 
take me in for the night," murmured Tom. "I'm 
going to ask, anyhow." 

He found the shanty to be inhabited by an old 
man who made a living burning charcoal. The 
place was not very attractive, but Tmn did not 
mind that, and finding the charcoal-burner a kind- 
ly old fellow, soon made a bai^in with him to 
remain all night. 

Tom slept soundly, in spite of his strange sur- 
roundings, and after a simple breakfast in the 
morning inquired of the old man the best way 
Of penetrating the forest. 

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"You'd best strike right along the aid wood 
road," said the charcoal-buraer. "That leads 
right to the lake, and I think will take you where 
i^ou want to go. The old mansicm is not far from 
;he lake shore." 

"Near the lake, eh ?" mused Tom as he started 
off, after thanking the old fellow. "Now I won- 
ier if I'd better try to get to it from the water 
or the land side?" 

He found it impossible to ride fast on the old 
wood road, and when he judged he was so close 
t« the lake that the noise of his motor-cycle might 
be heard, he shut off the power, and walked along, 
pushing it. It was hard traveling, and he felt 
weary, but he kept on, and about noon was re- 
warded by a sight of sometking glittering through 
the trees. 

"That's the lake!" Tom exclaimed, half aloud. 
"I'm almost there." 

A little later, having hidden his motor-cycle 
in a clump of bushes, he made his way through 
the underbrush and stood on the shore of Lake 
Carlopa. Cautiously Tom looked about him. It 
was getting well on in the afternoon, and the 
sun was striking across the broad sheet of water. 
Tom glanced up along the shore. Something 
amid a cltmip of trees caught his eyes. It was the 
chimney of a house. The young inventor walked 

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a little distance along the lake shore. Suddenly 
he saw, looming up in the forest, a large build- 
ing. It needed but a glance to show that it was 
falling into ruins, and had no signs of life about 
it. Nor, for that matter, was there any life in 
the forest around him, or on the lake that stretched 
out before him. 

"I wonder if that can be the place?" whispered 
'Tom, for, somehow, the silence of the place was 
getting OTi his nerves. "It must be it," he went 
on. "It's just as Rad described it." 

He stood lo<rfcing at it, the sun striking full on 
the mysterious mansion, hidden there amid the 
trees. Suddenly, as Tom l«oked, he heard the 
"put-put" of a motor-boat. He turned to one 
side, and saw, putting out from a little dock that 
he had not noticed before, a small craft. It con- 
tained one man, and no sooner had the young 
inventor cau|^t a glimpse of him than he cried 

"That's the man who jumped over our fence 
and escaped !" 

Then, before the occupant of the boat could 
catch sight of him, Tc«n turned and fied back into 
the bushes, out of view. 

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Tom was so excited that he hardly knew what 
to do. His first thought was to keep out of sight 
of the man in the boat, for the young inventor did 
not want the criminals to suspect that he was on 
their trail. To that end he ran back until he knew 
he could not be seen from the lake. There he 
paused and peered through the bushes. He caught 
a glimpse of the man in the motor-boat The 
craft was making fast time across the water. 

"He didn't see me," murmured Tom. "Lucky 
I saw him first. Now what had I better do ?" 

It was a hard question to answer. If he 
only had some one with whom to consult he 
would have felt better, but he knew he had to 
rely on himself. Tom was a resourceful lad, and 
he had often before been obliged to depend on his 
wits. But this time very much was at stake, and 
a false move might ruin everything. 

"This is certainly the house," went oa Tom, 

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"and that man in the boat is one of the fellows 
who helped rob me. Now the next thing to do 13 
to find out if the others of the gang are in the 
old mansion, and, if they are, to see if dad's model 
and papers are there. Then the next thing to 
do will be to get our things away, and I fancy I'll 
have no easy job." 

Well might Tom think this, for the men with 
whom he had to deal were desperate characters, 
who had already dared much to accomplish their 
ends, and who would do more before they would 
suffer defeat. Still, they under-estimated the pluck 
of the lad who was pitted against them. 

"I might as well proceed on a certain plan, and 
have some system about this affair," reasoned the 
lad. "Dad is a great believer in system, so I'll 
lay out a plan and see how nearly I can follow it. 
Let*s see — what is the first thing to do?" 

Tom considered a moment, going over the 
whole situation in his mind. Then he went on, 
talking to himself alone there in the woods : 

"It seems to me the first thing to do is to find 
lout if the men are in the house. To do that I've 
^fot to get closer and look in through a window. 
Now, how to get closer?" 

He considered that problem from all sides. 

"It will hardly do to approach from the lake 
shore," he reasoned, "for if they have a motor- 

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boat and a dock, there must be a path from the 
house to the water. If there is a path people are 
likely to walk up or down it at any minute. The 
man in the boat mig^t come back unexpectedly 
and catch me. No, I can't risk approaching from 
the lake shore. I've got to work my way up t« 
the house by going through the woods. That 
much is settled. Now to approach the house, and 
when I get within seeing distance I'll settle the 
next point. One thing at a time is a good rule, 
as dad used to say. Poor dad I I do hope I can 
get his model and papers back for him." 

Tom, who had been sitting on a log under a 
bush, staring at the lake, arose. He was feeling 
rather weak and faint, and was at a loss to ac- 
count for it, until he remembered that he had had 
no dinner, 

"And I'm not likely to get any," he remarked. 
"I'm not going to eat until I see who's in that 
house. Maybe I won't then, and where supper is 
coming from I don't know. But this is too im- 
portant to be considered in the same breath with 
a meal. Here goes." 

Cautiously Tom made his way forward, taking 
care not to make too much disturbance in the 
bushes. He had been on hunting trips, and knew 
the value *tf silence in the woods. He had no 
paths to ! Jlow, but he had noted the position of 

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tti€ sun, and though that luminary was now sink- 
ing lower and lower in the west, he could see the 
gleam of it through the trees, and knew in which 
direction from it lay the deserted mansion. 

Tom moved slowly, and stopped every now and 
then to listen. All the sounds he heard were those 
made by the creatures of the woods — birds, squir- 
rels and rabbits. He went forward for half an 
hour, though in that time he did not cover much 
ground, and he was just beginning to think that 
the house must be near at hand when through a 
fringe of bushes he saw the old mansion. It 
stood in the midst of what had once been a fine 
park, but which was now overgrown with weeds 
and tangled briars. The paths that led to the 
house were almost out of sight, and the once 
beautiful home was partly in ruins. 

"I guess I can sneak up there and take a look 
in one of the windows," thought the young in- 
ventor. He was about to advance, when he sud- 
denly stopped. He heard some one or some thing 
coming around the corner of the mansion. A 
noment later a man came into view, and Tom 
easily recognized him as one of those who 
had been in the automobile. The heart of the 
young inventor beat so hard that he was afraid 
the man would hear it, and Tom crouched down 
in the bushes to keep out of sight The man evi- 

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dently did not suspect the presence of a stranger, 
for, though he cast sharp glances into the tangled 
undergrowth that fringed the house like a hedge, 
he did not seek to investigate further. He walked 
slowly on, making a circuit of the grounds. Tom 
remained hidden for several minutes, and was 
about to proceed again, when the man reappeared. 
Then Tom saw the reason for it. 

"He's on guard !" the lad said to himself. "He's 
doing sentry duty. I can't approach the house 
when he's there." 

For an instant Tom felt a bitter disappoint- 
ment. He had hoped to be able to carry out his 
plan as he had mapped it. Now he would have 
to make a change. 

"I'll have to wait until night," he thought. 
"Then I can sneak up and look in. The guard 
won't see me after dark. But it's going to be 
no fun to stay here, without anything to eat 
Still, I've got to do it." 

He remained where he was in the bushes. Sev- 
eral times, before the sun set, the man doing sen- 
try duty made the circuit of the house, and Tom 
noted that occasionally he was gone for a long 
period. He reascaied that the man had gone into 
the mansion to confer with his confederates. 

"If I only knew what was going on in there," 
thought Tom. "Maybe, after all, the men haven't 

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got the model and papers here. Yet, if they 
haven't, why are they staying in the old house? 
I must get a look in and see what's going on. 
Lucky there are no shades to the windows. J 
wish it would get dark." 

It seemed that the sun would never go down 
and give place to dusk, but finally Tom, crouching 
in his hiding place, saw the shadows grow longer 
and longer, and finally the twilight of the woods 
gave place to a density that was hard to penetrate. 
Tom waited some time to see if the guard kept up 
the circuit, but with the approach of night the 
man seemed to have gone into the house. Tom 
saw a hght gleam out from the lonely mansion. 
It came frwn a window on the ground floor. 

"There's my chance!" exclaimed the lad, and, 
crawling from his hiding place, he advanced cau- 
tiously toward it. 

Tom went forward only a few feet at a time, 
pausing almost every other step to listen. He 
heard no sounds, and was reassured. Nearer and 
nearer he came to the old house. The g^eam of 
the light fell upon his face, and fearful that some 
one might be looking from the window, he shifted 
his course, so as to ccMne up from one side. Slow- 
ly, very slowly he advanced, until he was right 
under the window. Then he found that it was 

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loo high up to admit of his looking in. He felt 
about until he had a stone to stand on. 

Softly he drew himself up inch by inch. He 
conld hear the murmur of voices in the room. 
Now the top of his head was on a level with the 
sill. A few more inches and hts eyes could take 
in the room and the occupants. He was scarcely 
breathing. Up, up he raised himself until he 
could look int* the apartment, and the sight which 
met his eyes nearly caused him to lose his hold 
and topple backward. 

For grouped around a table in a big rocnn were 
the three men whom he had seen in the automo- 
bile. But what attracted his attention more than 
the sight of the men was an object on the table. 
It was the stolen model I The men were inspect- 
ing it, and operating it, as he could see. One of 
the trio had a bundle of papers in his hand, and 
Tom was sure they were the ones stolen from 
him. But there could be no doubt about the model 
of the turbine motor. There it was in plain sight. 
He had tracked the thieves to thdr hiding place. 

Then, as he watched, Tom saw one of the men^ 
produce from under the table a box, into which 
the model was placed. The papers were next pul 
in, and a cover was nailed on. Then the men 
appeared to consult among themselves. 

By their gestures Tom concluded that they 

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were debating where to hide the box. One man 
pointed toward the lake, and another toward the 
forest Tom was edging himself up farther, in 
^rder to see better, and, if possible, catch their 
ATords, when his foot slipped, and he made a slight 
noise. Instantly the men turned toward the win- 
dow, but Tom had stooped down out of sight, just 
in time. 

A moment later, however, he heard some one 
approaching through the woods behind him, and 
a voice called out : 

"What are you doing? Get away from there T' 

Rapid footsteps sounded, and Tom, in a panic, 

turned and fled, with an unknown pursuer after 

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Tom rushed on through the woods. The 
Ii(^ted room into which he had been looking had 
temporarily blinded him when it came to plunging 
into the darkness again, and he could not see 
where he was going. He crashed full-tilt into a 
tree, and was thrown backward. Bruised and 
cut, he picked himself up and rushed off in an- 
other direction. Fortunately he struck into some 
sort of a path, probably one made 1^ cows, and 
then, as his eyes recovered their faculties, he 
could dimly distinguish the trees oa either side 
of him and avoid them. 

Hh heart, that was beating fiercely, calmed 
down after his first fright, and when he had run 
on for several minutes he stopped. 

"Thut — that must — have been — the — the man 
— from the boat," panted our hero, whispering to 
himself. "He came back and saw me. I won- 
der if he's after me yet?" 

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Tom listened. The only sound he could hear 
was the trill and chirp of the insects of the woods. 
The pursuit, which had lasted only a few murates, 
was over. But it might be resumed at any mo- 
ment. Tom was not safe yet, he thought, and 
he kept on. 

"I wonder where I am? I wonder where my 
motor-cycle is? I wonder what I had better do?" 
he asked himself. 

Three big questions, and no way of settling 
them. Tom pulled himself up sharply. 

"I've got to think this thing out," he resumed. 
"They can't find me in these woods to-night, that's 
sure, unless they get dogs, and they're not likely 
to do that. So I'm safe tfiat far. But that's about 
all that is in my favor, I won't dare to go back 
to the house, even it I could find it in this black- 
ness, which is doubtful. It wouldn't be safe, for 
they'll be on guard r.ow. It looks as though I 
was up against it. I'm afraid they may imagine 
the police are after them, and go away. If they 
do, and take the model and papers with them, I'll 
have an awful job to locate them again, and proba- 
bly I won't be able to. That's the worst of it.. 
Here I have everything right under my hands, 
and I can't do a thing. If I only had some one 
to help me ; some one to leave on guard while I 
went for the police I'm c«ie against three — ^no, 

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lour, for the man in the boat is back. Let's see; 
what can I do?" 

Then a sudden plan came to him. 

"The lake shore 1" he exclaimed, half alood. 
'I'll go down there and k<q> watch. If thef e»- 
cape they'll probably go in tlie boat, foi they 
wouldn't venture through the mods at night 
^Zhat's it I'll watdi <m ahor^ and if they do 
leave in the boat " He pa«»ed again, unde- 
cided. "Why, if they do," he fini^ied, "I'H sing 
out, and make such a row tluit they'll tliink the 
whole countryside is after tbMt. That may drive 
them back, or they may drop the box containing 
the papers and model, and cut for it If they do 
I'll be all right I don't care about capturing them, 
if I can get dad's model bade." 

He felt more like himself, now that he bad 
mapped out another plan. 

"The first thing to do is t« locate the lake," rea- 
aoned Tom. "Let's see ; I ran in a straight line 
away from the house — that is, as nearly straight 
as I could. Now if I turn around and go straight 
bade, bearing off a little to the left. I ought to 
come to the water. Ill do it." 

Btit it was not so easy as Tom imagined, and 
several tinaas he found himsdf in the midst of 
almost in^caetrafale bushes. He kept on, how- 
ever, and socm liad the satisfaction of emerging 

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from the woods out on the shore of the lake. 
Then, having gotten his hearings as well as he 
could is the darkness, he moved down until he 
was near the deserted house. The light was still 
showing from the window, and Tom judged by 
ithis that the men had not taken fright and fled. 

"I suppose I could sneak down and set the 
motor-boat adrift," he argued. "That would pre- 
vent them leaving by way of the lake, anyhow. 
That's what I'll do! I'll cut off one means of 
escape. I'll set the boat adrift !" 

Very cautiously he advanced toward where he 
had seen the small craft put out. He was on his 
guard, for he feared the men would be on the 
watch, but he reached the dock in safety, and was 
krasening the rope that tied the boat to the little 
wharf when another thought came to him. 

"AVhy set this boat adrift?" he reasoned. "It 
is too good a boat to treat that way, and, besides, 
it will make a good place for me to spend the 
rest of the night. I've got to stay around here 
until morning, and then I'll see if I can't get help. 
I'll just appropriate this boat for my o^nti use 
They have dad's model, and I'll take their boat." 

Softly he got into the craft, and with an oal 
which was kept in it to propel it in case the engina 
gave out, he poled it along the shore of the l^ike 
until he was some distance away from the dock. 

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That afternoon he had seen a secluded place along 
the shore, a spot whore overhanging bushes made 
a good hiding place, and for this he headed the 
craft. A little later it was completely out of sight, 
and Tom stretched out on the cushioned seats, 
pulling a tarpaulin over him. There he prepared 
to spend the rest of the night 

"They can't get away except through the woods 
now, which I don't believe they'll do," he thought, 
"and this is better for me than stayir^ out under 
a tree. I'm glad I thought of it," 

The youth, naturally, did not pass a very com- 
fortable night, though his bed was not a half bad 
one. He fell into uneasy dozes, only to arouse, 
thinking the men in the old mansion were trying 
to escape. Then he would sit up and listen, but 
be could hear nothing. It seemed as if morning 
would never come, but at length the stars began to 
fade, and the sky seemed overcast with a filmy, 
white veil. Tom sat up, rubbed his smarting eyes, 
ind stretched his cramped limbs. 

"Oh, for a hot cup of coffee!" he exclaimed. 
"But not for mine, until I land these chaps where 
they belong. Now the question is, how can I get 
help to capture them?" 

His hunger was forgotten in this. He stepped 
from the boat to a secluded spot on the shore. The 
craft, he noted, was well hidden. 

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"I've got to go back to where I left my motor- 
cycle, jump on that, and ride for aid," he reasoned. 
"Maybe I can get the charcoal-burner to go for 
me, while I come back and stand guard. I guess 
that would be the best plan, I certainly ought to 
be on hand, for there is no telling when these fel- 
lows will skip out with the model, if they haven't 
gone already. I hate to leave, yet I've got to. 
It's the only way. I wish I'd done as dad sug- 
gested, and brought help. But it's too late for 
that. Well, I'm off." 

Tom took a last look at the motor-boat, which 
was a fine one. He wished it was his. Then he 
struck through the woods. He had his bearings 
now, and was soon at the place where he had left 
his machine. It had not been disturbed. He 
caught a glimpse of the old mansion on his way 
out of the woods. There appeared to be no one 
stirring about it. 

"I hope my birds haven't flown !" he exclaimed, 
and the thought gave him such uneasiness that 
he put it from him. Pushing his heavy machine 
ahead of him until he came to a good road, he 
mounted it, and was soon at the charcoal-burner's 
shack. There came no answer to his knock, and 
Tom pushed open the door. The old man was 
no* in. Tom could not send him for help. 

''My luck seems to be against me!" he mur- 

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mured. "But I can get something to eat here, 
anyhow. I'm almost starved !" 

He found the kitchen utensils, and made some 
coffee, also frying some bacon and eggs. Then, 
feeling much refreshed, and having left on the 
table some money to pay for the inroad he had 
made on the victuals, he started to go outside. 

As our hero stepped to the door he was greeted 
by a savage growl that made him start in alarm. 

"A dog!" he mused. "I didn't know there was 
one around." 

He looked outside and there, to his dismay, saw 
a big, savage-appearing bulldog standing close to 
where he had left his motor-cycle. The animal 
had been sniffing suspiciously at the machine. 

"Good dog!" called Tom. "Come here!" 

But the bulldog did not come. Instead the beast 
stood still, showed his teeth to Tom and growled 
in a low tone. 

"Wonder if the owner can be near?" mused the 
young inventor. "That dc^ won't let me get my 
machine, I am afraid." 

Tom spoke to the animal again and again the 
dog growled and showed his teeth. He next made 
a move as if to leap into the house, and Tom 
quickly stepped back and banged shut the door. 

"Well, if this isn't the worst yet!" cried the 
youth to himself. "Here, just at the time I want 

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to be off, 1 mmt be held up by such a brute as that 
otrteiJe. Wonder how long he'll keep me a pris- 

Tan went to a window and peered out. No 
person had appeared and the lad rightly surmised 
that the bulldog had come to the cottage alone. 
The beast appeared to be hungry, and this gave 
Tom a sudden idea. 

"Maybe if I feed him, he'll forget that I am 
around and give me a chance to get away," he 
reasoned. "Guess I had better try that dodge on 

Tom locked around the cottage and at last 
found the remains of a chicken dinner the owner 
had left behind He picked up some of the bones 
and called the bulldog. The animal came up 
rather suspiciously. Tom threw him oae bone, 
which he proceeded to crunch up vigorously. 

"He's hungry right enough," mused Tom. "I 
guess he'd like to sample my leg. But he's not 
going to do it — not if I can help it." 

At the back of the cottage was a little shed, the 
door to which stood open. Tom threw a bone near 
to the door of this shed and then managed to 
throw another bone inside the place. The bulldog 
found the first bone and then disappeared after the 

"Now is my time, I guess," the young inventor 

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told himself, and watching his chance, he ran from 
the cottage toward his motor-cycle. He made no 
noise and quickly shoved the machine into the 
roadway. Just as he turned on the power the 
bulldog came out of the shed, barking furiously. 

"You've missed it!" said Tom grimly as the 
macliine started, and quickly the cottage and the 
bulldog were left behind. The road was rough 
for a short distance and he had to pay strict atten- 
ti(Mi to what he was doing. 

"I've got to ride to the nearest village," he said. 
"It's a long distance, and, in the meanwhile, the 
men may escape. But I can't do anything else. 
I dare not tackle them alone, and there is no tell- 
ing when the charcoal-burner may come back. 
I've got to make speed, that's all." 

Out on the main road the lad sent his machine 
ahead at a fast pace. He was fairly humming 
along when, suddenly, from around a curve in 
the highway he heard the "honk-honk" of an au- 
tomobile horn. For an instant his heart failed 

"I wonder if those are the thieves? Maybe 
ihey have left the house, and are in their auto !" 
he whispered as he slowed down his machine. 

The automobile appeared to have halted. As 
Tom came nearer the turn he heard voices. At 
the sound of one he started. The voice exclaimed : 

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"Bless my spectacles! What's wrong now? I 
thought that when I got this automobile I would 
enjoy life, but it's as bad as my motor-cycle was 
for going wrong! Bless my very existence, but 
has anything happened?" 

"Mr. Damon!" exclaimed Tom, for he rect^- 
nized the eccentric individual of whom he had 
obtained the motor-cycle. 

The next moment Tom was in sight of a big 
touring car, containing, not only Mr. Damon, 
whom Tom recognized at once, but three other 

"Oh, Mr. Damon," cried Tom, "will you help 
me capture a gang of thieves? They are in a 
deserted mansion in the woods, and they have 
one of. my father's patent models! Will you help 
me, Mr. Damon?" 

"Why, bless my top-knot I" exclaimed the odd 
gentleman. "If it isn't Tom Swift, the young 
inventor ! Bless my very happiness ! There's my 
motor-cycle, too ! Help you ? Why, of course we 
will. Bless my shoe-leather ! Of course we'll help 
yon I" 

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Tom's story was soon told, and Mr. Damom 
quickly explained to his friends in the automobi)e 
how he had first made the acquaintance of the 
young; inventor, 

"But how does it happen that you are trusting 
yourself in a car like this?" asked Tom. "I 
thought you were done with gasolene machines, 
Mr. Damon." 

"I thought so, too, Tom, but, Hess my bat- 
teries, my doctor insisted that I must get out in 
the c^en air. I'm too stout to walk, and I can't 
run. The only solution was tn an automobile, 
for I never would dream of a motor-cycle. I 
wonder that one of mine hasn't run away with 
you and killed you. But there I My automobile 
is nearly as bad. We went along very nicely 
yesterday, and now, just when I have a party of 
friends out, something goes wrong. Bless my 
liver! I do seem to have the worst luck!" 

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Tom lost no time in locJdng for the trouble. 
He found it in the ignition, and soon had it fixed. 
Then a sort of council of war was held. 

"Do you think those scoundrels are there yet?" 
asked Mr. Damon. 

"I hope so," answered Tom. 

"So do I," went on the odd character. "Bless 
my soul, but I want a chance to pummel them. 
Come, gentlemen, let's be moving. Will you 
ride with us, Tom Swift, or on that dangerous 

"I think I'll stick to my machine, Mr, Damon. 
I can easily keep up with you." 

"Very well. Then we'll get alcmg. We'll pro- 
ceed until we get close to the old mansion, and 
then some of us will go down to the lake shore, 
and the rest of us will surround the house. We'll 
catch the villains red-handed, and I hope we bag 
that tramp among them." 

"I hardly think he is there," said Tom. 

In a short time the auto and the motor-c)xIe 
had carried the respective riders to the road 
through the woods. There the machines were left, 
and the party proceeded on foot. Tom had a re- 
volver with him, and one member of Mr. Damon's 
party also had a small one, more to scare dogs 
than for any other purpose. Tom gave his weapon 
to one of the men, and cut a stout stick for him- 

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self, an example followed by those wlio had no 

"A club for mine!" exclaimed Mr. Damon. 
"The less I have to do with machinery the better 
I like it Now, Tom Swift is just the other way 
around," he explained to his friends. 

Cautiously they approached the house, and 
when within seeing distance of it they paused for 
a consultation. There seemed to be no one stirring 
about the old mansion, and Tom was fearful lest 
the men had left. But this could not be deter- 
mined until th^ came closer. Two of Mr. 
Damon's friends elected to go down to the shore 
of the lake and prevent any escape in that direc- 
tion, while the others, including Tom, were to 
approach from the wood side. When the two 
who were to form the water attacking party were 
ready, one of them was to fire his revolver as a 
signal. Then Tom, Mr. Damon and the others 
would rush in. 

The young inventor, Mr. Damon, and his 
friend, whom he addressed as Mr. Benson, went 
as close to the house as they considered prudent 
Then, screening themselves in the bushes, they 
waited. They conversed in whispers, Tom giving 
more details of his experience with the patent 

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Suddenly the silence of the woods was broken 
l^ some one advancing through the underbrush. 

"Bless my gaiters, some one is cfMning!" ex- 
claimed Mr. Damon in a hoarse whisper, "Can 
that be Munson or Dwight coming back?" He 
referred to his two friends who had gone to the 

"Or perhaps the fellows are escaping," sug- 
gested Mr. Benson. "Suppose we take a look." 

At that moment the person approaching, who- 
ever he was, began to sing. Tom started. 

"I'll wager that's Happy Harry, the tramp!" 
he exclaimed. "I know his voice." 

Cautiously Tom peered over the screen of 

"Who is it?" asked Mr. Damon. 

"It's Happy Harry!" said Tom. "We'll get 
them all, now. He's going up to the house." 

They watched the tramp. All unconscious of 
the eyes of the men and boy in the bushes, he kept 
on. Presently the door of the house opened, and 
a man came out Tom recognized him as Anson 
Morse — the person who had dropped the tele- 

"Say, Burke," called the man at the door, "have 
you taken the motor-boat?" 

"Motor-boat? No," answered the tramp. "I 
just came here. I've had a hard time — nearly got 

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caught in Swift's house the other night by that 
cub of a boy. Is the boat gone ?" 

"Yes. Appleson came back in it last night and 
saw some one looking in the window, but we 
thought it was only a farmer and chased him 
away. This morning the boat's gone. I thought 
maybe you had taken it for a joke." 

"Not a bit of it! Something's wrong!" ex- 
claimed Happy Harry. "We'd better light out 
I think the police are after us. That young Swift 
is too sharp for my liking. We'd better skip. I 
don't believe that was a farmer who looked in the 
window. Tdl the others, get the stuff, and we'U 
leave this locality." 

"They're here still," whispered Tom. ' "That's 

"I wonder if Munson and Dwight are at the 
lake yet?" asked Mr. Damon. "They ought to 

At that instant a pistol shot rang out The 
tramp, after a hasty glance around, started on 
the run for the house. The man in the doorway 
sprang out Soon two others joined him. 

"Who fired that shot?" cried Morse. 

"Come on, Tom!" cried Mr. Damon, graU>ing 
up his club and springing from the bushes. "Our 
friends have arrived !" The young inventor and 
Mr. Benson followed him. 

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No sotMier had they come into the open spac« 
in front of the house than they were seen. At tht 
same instant, from the rear, in the direction oi 
the lake, came Mr. Munson and Mr. Dwight. 

"We're caught !" cried Happy Harry. 

He made a dash for the house, just as 3 man, 
carrying a box, rushed out 

"There it is t The model and papers are in that 
box !" cried Tom. "Don't let them get away with 
it I" 

The criminals were taken by surprise. With 
leveled weapons the attacking party closed in on 
them. Mr. Damon raised his club threateningly. 

"Surrender ! Surrender I" he cried. "We have 
you! Bless my stars, but you're captured! Sur- 
render !" 

"It certainly looks so," admitted Anson Morse. 
"I guess they have us, boys." 

The man with the box made a sudden dash to- 
ward the woods, but Tom was watching him. It 
an instant he sprang at him, and landed on the 
fellow's back. The two went down in a heap 
land when Tom arose he had possession of the 
precious box. 

"I have it! I have it I" he cri«d. "I've got 
dad's model back !" 

The man who had had possesaion of the box 

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quickly arose, and, before any one could stop him, 
darted into the bushes. 

"After him! Catch him! Bless my hat-band, 
stop him !" shouted Mr. Damon. 

Instinctively his friends turned to pursue tht 
fugitive, forgetting, for the instant, the other 
criminals. The men were quick to take advantage 
of this, and in a moment had disappeared in the 
dense woods. Nor could any trace be found of 
the one with whom Tom had stru^led. 

"Pshaw ! They got away from us !" cried Mr. 
Damon regretfully. "Let's see if we can't catch 
them. Come on, we'll organize a posse and run 
them down." He was eager for the chase, but 
his companions dissuaded him. Tom had what 
he wanted, and he knew that his father would 
prefer not to prosecute the men. The lad opened 
the box, and saw that the model and papers were 

"Let those fellows go," advised the young in- 
ventor, and Mr, Damon reluctantly agreed to this, 
*'I guess we've seen the last of them," added the 
youth, but he and Mr. Swift had not, for theJ 
criminals made further trouble, which will bd 
told of in the second volume of this series, to be 
called "TcMH Swift and His Motor-Boat; or. The 
Rivals of Lake Carlopa." Inthat our hero will 
be met in adventures even more thrilling than 

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THE capture-cood-by: 205 

those already related, and Andy Foger, who so 
nearly ran Tom down in the automobile, will 
have a part in them. 

"Now," said Mr. Damon, after it had been 
ascertained that no one was injured, and that the 
box contained all of value that had been stolen, 
"I suppose you are anxious to get Iwck home, 
Tom, aren't you? Will you let me take you in 
my car? Bless my spark plug, but I'd like to 
have you along in case of another accident !" 

The lad politely declined, however, and, with 
the valuable model and papers safe on his motor- 
cycle, he started for Shopton. Arriving at the 
first village after leaving the woods, Tom tele- 
phoned the good news to his father, and that aft- 
ernoon was safely at home, to the delight of Mr. 
Swift and Mrs. Baggert 

The inventor lost no time in fully protecting his 
invention by patents. As for the unprincipled 
men who made an effort to secure it, they had so 
covered up their tracks that there was no way of 
prosecuting them, nor could any action be held 
against Smeak & Katch, the unscrupulous lavi^ers. 

"Well," remarked Mr. Swift to Tom, a few 
nights after the recovery of the model, "your 
motor-cyde certainly did us good service. Had it 
not been for it I might never have gotten back 
my invention." 

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"Yes, it did come in handy," agreed the young 
inventor. "There's that motor-boat, too. I wish 
I had it I dcMi't believe those fellows will ever 
come back for it I turned it over to the county 
authorities, and they take charge of it for a while. 
I certainly had some queer adventures since I 
got this madiine from Mr. Damon," conduded 
Tom. I think my readers will agree with htm. 

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In theM ttories we follow the adventures of ^ee boj% 
wbo, after pnrdiAsing at auction the contents of a movioE 
^cture kouse. open a theatre of their own. Their many 
trials and tribulations, leading ap to the final sucoeis ot 
dKir venture, make ver7 eotertainmg stories. 

Or Opening a Pboto Plarbouse in Fairlands. 

Tb* aArMttvna of Vntik. Sandj and Faji ta rnnnlnr i lIollMi 
Plotnr* ■how, Thar bad trlala and ttibnlatloai bat llnallr ■Bnei»d. 

Or The Sival Photo Theatres of tlie Boardwalk; 
nialr wiBesas at Falriands anaow aKW tb« boM to ovm OmIt 
•bow at Saaold* Farib wbare tbar baTo wtolllag adTratnrao— alw » 
piolUatdo aoaion. 

Or The Mystery of the Missing Cash Box. 
Badud br » rlA wastsni friend tba cbnma MtabltabM a pltota 
plaTbooM to tba gnat aiatropoUii wboro now adTanCuTM await tbott. 


Or The Him that Solved a Mystery. 

mi timo fba plarboaM wai In a Uk rammor lurk. How i Sin 
Ibat wu ■bourn xava « ol«w to aa Important mjotaiT la tntaraat- 
InilT rdatad. 


Or The First Educational Photo Playhouse. 
In tbls book tho woie U Bhiftad to Boston, and tbar* It tnt*M* 
nvali7 la tbe eatablUbmant ot pboto plarbaiwaa ot edneatlonal vala& 

Or The Greatest Film Ever Exhibited. 

Or The Film that Won the Prize. 
Throagh belna of lenloo to the writar of a giaat saiBifK 

tao Auau are •oablad to produce It and via a prlio. 


D,s,i,7ert by Google 


For Little Men and Women 


Author of "The Bunny Brown" Series, Ete. 


Copyright publications which caanot be obtained elsewhere. 
Books ttut charm the hearts of the little ones, and of wbicb 
they never tire. Many of the adventures are comical in the 
extreme, and all the accidents that ordinarily happen to youth- 
ful personages happened to these many-sided httle mortals. 
Thar haps and mishaps make decidedly entertuning reading 





TeOing hoir Ihey so borne from the Bcasfaoie; went to ichoOl aad 
Ver« promoted, and of their tDBnr triali and tribulationi. 


Telling of tlie winter liolidars, and of the nun); fine ttues aol 
Bdventuici the twin* bad at a winter lodte in the big woods. 


The yeuDg folks visit the farm again and have plen^ of good 
Smtt* and aneral adventurea. 

The twini get into all aorta of trouble — and oat again— alio briiiB 

GitoeezT & DuNLAP, 

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12m. cum. UOFOMItmEKH 

ThM* tplrlted tales iramr U • naUitlo way tbe woBderfiU •A' 
VADcea IB land and aaa iMonoUon. atarl« like Uiese are ImprwHr 
vpoB the iDHiuiT and tbelr readlBK la productlTi valy ot com. 


Or Fun and AdTentHra on the Hoad 

Or Tbe Rlnli ol Laka Carlopa 

Or The SUrrlns Crolie «t th« R«a Cloud 

Or Cader the Ooaau lor Sunkan Treaiura 

Or Tbo Spoadlert Car on the Road 

Or Tlie Caitaways ol Earthquake Island 

Or The Secret ot Phsatom UounCaln 


Or The Wreck of the Almblp 

Or The Quickest Fllglit on Record 


Or DarliiE Adrentures In Elephant Land 


•r Marrellous AdTenCirea Undersrouod 


Or Seeklos the F latin urn. Treaeun 


Or A Daring Escape by Alrahlp 


Or The PeiilB ot Movlas Plctara Taking 


Or On tb>; Border lor Uncle Sani 


Or The Longest Shots on Recoid 


Or The Picture that Saved a Fortune 


Or The Naval Terror of the Beaa 

Or The Hidden Cltr ot fta Andes 

Qkossbt & DuKLAp', Publishers New If. tit 

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hm. bo— hi clotw. tiwuwn. mm vm xnu or — ■■. 

Moving fnctures and photo plays are famous the world 
•ver, and u this line of books the reader is given a full 
description of how the films are made — the scenes of little 
dramas, indoors and out, trick pictures to satisfy the curious, 
soul-stirring pictures of city affairs, life in the Wild West, 
among the cowboys and Indians, thrilling rescues along the 
seacoast, the daring of picture hunters in the jungle among 
savage beasts, and the great risks run in picturing conditloas 
in a land of earthquakes. The yolumes teem with adven- 
tures and will be found interesting from first chapter to last; 

Or Perils of a Great CiQr Depicted. 

Or Showing the Perils of the Deep. 

Or Stirring Times Among the Wild Animals. 

Or Working Amid Many Perils. LAND 

Or Perilous Days on the Mississippi 

^Or Stirring Adventures Along the Great Canat 

Or The Treasure of the Lost Ship. 

Gkosset & DuNLAP, Publishers, New Y©»k 




Tbe outdoor chuins ue four wide-awake kds, sons of 
Wealtb; men of » small dtj located on a lake. The Ixqra 
bve outdoor life, and are greatly interested in bunting, fisb* 
ing, and picture taking. They have motor cycles, motor 
boats, canoes, etc, and dnring their vacations go everywhere 
and have all sorts of thrilling adventures. The stories give 
full directions for campit^ out, how to lish, how to hunt wild 
animals and prepare the skins for stuffi;^, how to manage a 
canoe, how to swim, etc Full of the spirit of outdoor life. 

Or Laying the Ghost of Oak Ridge. 

Or The Rivals of the Mississippi 

Or The Golden Cup Mystery. 

(JtossET & DuNLA?, Publishers, 

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Never was there a cleaner, brighter, more manly boy 
tfnm Frank Allen, the hero of this series of boys' tales, and 
dcver was there a better crowd of lads to associate with than 
the students of the School All boys will read these stories 
with deep interest The rivalry between the towns along the 
river was of the keenest, and plots and counterplots to win 
the champions, at baseball, at football, at boat racing', at 
track athletics, and at ice hockey, were without number. 
Any lad reading one volume of tlds series will surely want 
the others. 

Or Winning Out by Pluck 

Or The Struggle for the Silver Cup 

Or A Long Kim ^at Wm 

Or StirrivK Doings on Skates and Iceboats 
_12nw. Illnifc«teJ. BwJwmiiV fcwmd in ctoh, irifli o>wr 


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Author of the Popular "Bobbsey Twkia" Books 

i2Mt. Boon M cura. uunsna. umwn mu w mbhl 

This new seties 1» the author of the "Bobbsey Twins" 
Books will be eagerly welcomed by the little fdks from aboat 
fivi. to ten years <n a^t. Their eyes will fairly dance witii dt- 
^ht at the lively doings of ioquiMtivc little Bunny Brown axd 
his cunning, tnistful sister Sue. 


Btmny wu ft Ursly little bo;, verr inaal^tiTC When he did any- 
thing Sac foUowed his leadeialup. llicyiiadmaDj'adventares.Bome 

Tint the diildien Eave a littla aSalr, bat when the; obtaloed on 
Cktd army tont the show was tnily gnuid. 

The funfly Eo into camp on the edge of a beantifullake, and Ban 
nj and his sister have more good times and some adventUM. 

Thedtr prov«dawoiid«ful plaoetotbelittlefolks. Theytaakia 
•U Ae sights M^ helped a coloidc girl who had nm away fKun bMne, 

GaosacT & Dunlap, Pdbluhbra, New Ymk 

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ijw*. mm m aarn. ummia. mn m imi w umam. 

Here ii a seriei fatl of the spirit of high sdwol life of to- 
day. The girls are riaJ fiesh-and-blood characters, and we fol- 
low them with interest in school and out There are many 
contested matches on track and field, and on the water, as well 
u doings in the classroom and on Uie school stage. There is 
plenQr of fun and excitement, all clean, pore and wholesome. 

Or Rivals for all Honors. 

A BttmnK tale of blKh Mbool lit*, fnlt ot taa, wlUi a taitek 
at mjittarr and a atnuiCB InltUUon. 

Or The Crew That Won. 

Telling ol water iporta uid ton galore, tad of flae tImM Is ounp. 

Or The Great Gymnasium l^tery. 

Here we baTC a anmber of tbrilllig oontgnta at buk«tball and Is 
addition, the lalTlng at a numterr which kad botherW the blgh 
aohoDl antborltleB for a long while. 

Or The Phiy That Took the Priiie. 

How the girls went in for theatrical! Bud kow oa* b( tham Wivta 
a plar which afterward was mads orar tor tho ptofanrtoaal Btaga 
aad brou^t In i»mm tnnch-needel mo&W- 


Or The Girl Champions of tiie School Leagae 

Or The Old Professor's Secret 

The girls went camping on Acorn lalasd and had a dallgbtfnl 
UaM at ooatlng, BVlmiiiinx and plonla partle*. 


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e "Bobbsey Twin Boo' 

law. ■ouMM cunt ■iwiMTa. ' 

These tales take in the various adventures participated in 
hr several bright, up-to-date girb who love outdoor life. 
TluT sre clean and wholesome, free from sensationaliMii, 
absorbing from the first chapter to the last. 
Or Camping and Tramping for Fua and Health. 

Tdlipg hoir the girli orginiicd tlidr Cusping tnd Tntepltig CInK 
how they went on & tour, uid ol TiriDni ■dTentorei which befell theok 

Or Stirring Cruise of the Uotor Boat Gem. 

One of the lirli become* the proud poueeior of a motor boat and 
inTite* her club members to take a trip down the riier to lUin- 
kow Lilie. a beauliEul ^eet of water lyiat between the meantaiii*. 
Or The Haunted Maadon of Shadow Valley. 

One of the girli haa teamed M run a Ug BOtor ear, aod the invtlea 
the dub to go on a tour to n^t aome dittant relatiTet. On tbe waj 
Oity atop at a deierted manafam aad make a niTpriaiiig difcovery. 
Or Glorious Dayi on Skates and Ice Boats. 

Id thia atory, the acene ia ahlfled to a wtnter aeaan. The t^f 
have aome Jolly timea akating aad lee boating, and viait a hunterr 
camp in the big woods. 

Or Wintering in the Sunny South. , 

The parenta of one of the giria haTC bonriit an orange srore fat ; 
Florida, and her companions are invited to visit the place. Hey take ) 
a trip into tbe intenar, where aeveral nntwnal thinga hqqfen. 
Or The Box that Was Fotmd in tiie Sand. 

The dria have great fun and aolva • myatary while on an outing 
alang tCe New England coast. 

Or A Cave and What it Contamed. 

A Wgbt, healthful story, full of good times at a bnngalow camy 
on Pine laland. 

&assET & DuNLAP, Publishers, New York 

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Author of The Bobbse; Twins Series/^ 

lit. ItlllB ■ CLOTH. KilgllUHD. UPOM ITYU W UtHm 

The adventures of Ruth and Alice DeVcrt Their father, 
a widower, is an actor who has taken up work for the 
"Movies." .Both girls wish to aid him in his work and visit 
various localities to aa in all sorts of pictures. 
Or First Appearance in Photo Dramas. 

Hiving loit fail voice, the father of the Eirli goes into the movie*, 
and the girla follow. Tells how man; "parlor dnuuas" are Ghned. 

Or Queer Happenings While Taking Rural Plays. 

Full of fun in the coantnr, the hapa and miahaps of taldns fiba 
[ilaya, and livins an account of two imuanat discoTericB. 

Or The Proof on the Film, 

A tale of winter adventure* ui the wildeniea, ahawing IlOV tb« 
photo-plar actoTB aometimei auffer. 

Or Lost in the Wilds of Florida. 

How they went to (he land of palma. clayed manv parts En dramaa 
before the camera; were loit, and aided others who were aba )««b 

Or Great Days Among the Cowboys. 

All who have ever seen moving pictare* of the sreat Wot irlll 
want to know just how ther are made. This volume jpves ereiy detail 
and is full of dean fun and excitement 

(Or a Pictured Shipwreck that Became Real. 

A thrilling account of the girls' experieoces on the water. 

Or The Sham Battles at Oak Farm. 

The rirla aUj Important parts in big battle scenes and hava pltatj 
•f haid waA along with conaiderable fun. 


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